There are likely to be a few people reading this who have an MBA (Master of Business Administration). Over the last 10 to 20 years MBA programs have seen a huge spike in demand as well as universities offering such a program. This is very true here in Europe, where it seems every country has a few MBA programs aimed at international or domestic students.
Popularity may be one thing, but this says nothing of why an MBA has become so sought after and so frequently offered. Beyond that, what about the quality of the education MBA’s get and how do they perform as a result of this instruction.
ABC Radio National’s Background Briefing had a great program over the weekend focusing on the global impact of the MBA and how it rose to its current importance. It pays special attention to the role of MBA’s in the current global financial crisis.
Among the points I found especially poignant: the emergence of the MBA in the 70’s and 80’s, as being a manager was only beginning to be seen as a career. Prior to that, managers were those who had worked various positions and worked their way up with a company eventually getting the managerial post. They also get into the creation of an elite based on what MBA program you graduate from, schools like Harvard which pride themselves in allegedly preparing people not only to manage companies, but to manage basically anything, including a government.
Recommended listening, whether you’ve got an MBA or not.