B-Schools Change Up to Meet Needs of Firms

by Vault Education Editors | January 06, 2011

  • My Vault

"I think MBA's tendency has been to see quick financial gain by pleasing the boss and harvesting cash." "But they don't spend enough time just thinking." That's the feedback of Priceline.com and Club Quarters chairman Ralph Bahna, who was one of many executives asked by the Dean of Haas, Rich Lyons, to assess the performance of the school's graduates. A lack of creativity in strategizing, the recruiters told Lyons. Soon after, a new course appeared called "Problem Finding, Problem Solving."

Other schools, too, are asking for feedback from companies in a position to hire graduates, according to a story in the WSJ. The University of San Francisco's School of Business was told by local biotech companies that graduates needed to better understand the marketing and development side of drugs, as a general business knowledge wasn't enough. The school adjusted its curriculum accordingly. At Northeastern, students were criticized for poor writing skills, too long-winded was one charge. In response, the school added more rigorous writing instruction to its courses, resulting in three hires, rather than the usual one, from a satisfied employer.

Catering to their wishes, adding new courses, changing things up—all of this indicates shifting priorities in the face of a hyper-competitive job market, even as the MBA hiring market starts to improve slowly. That schools are tweaking curriculums to be more practical, applicable to real-life market necessities, is good news.

[WSJ]

Filed Under: Education

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