How Has the MBA Evolved Over the Years?

by Anite Allesis

The global economy is shifting, which has led to the global business education system changing its position in today’s society and what it has to offer. If you are interested in a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) qualification, then you may have done some background research on how it has changed since it was created. While the beliefs and core values of this degree have stayed relatively consistent, there have been a number of continuous additions and changes to the program which have made it into the degree we know today. The MBA is a fantastic qualification to have that is highly valued by employers. To help you see how far it has come and why this degree is so valuable, today we will be taking a look into how the MBA has evolved over the years.

Where it Began

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This now globally recognized qualification was created in America. The very first business school to ever exist was in 1881 in Pennsylvania. Even though it did not have any graduate courses on offer, it was vital when it came to setting up the first MBA. Founded at Dartmouth College in 1900, the MBA began its life as the Masters of Science in Commerce degree. This could be studied at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. At the newly formed GSBA (Graduate School of Business Administration) at Harvard, the Master of Business Administration began and was first offered to the people in 1908. The first MBA program only had 33 students in a regular class. There were only 15 faculty members in the school and the first class to graduate with this degree only had 47 students.

When it Started to Grow

35 years after the degree was introduced, the Executive MBA, also known as the EMBA, was created. This degree was made to be a flexible option for working adults. It allowed them to keep their jobs and continue to work while they studied. This degree was created in 1943 at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In return, more people started to apply to this program, as it allowed people who had family and other personal commitments to gain a qualification that could better their future. The first MBA program to leave the United States traveled to Canada in 1950. It then went over to South Africa. The qualification was now starting to grow globally and Europe really took a liking to it.

Growth in Europe

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In 1957, INSEAD (European Institute of Business Administration or Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires) was the first European business school to present an MBA course to students. More than 50 students graduated with an MBA in the first year. Today, there are more than 900 new MBA graduates each year. The growth of this program can be seen clearly across Europe as an increasing number of business schools have started to offer the MBA to students. In 35 countries across Europe, there are more than 300 MBA programs available. These all vary in quality, size, institutional governance and history. Even though they do not boast the long and in-depth history associated with their American equals, the prestige and popularity of this degree in Europe are clearly rising and some of the courses on offer are among the greatest in the world.

A Steady Decline

Today’s MBAs and EMBAs exist in a number of different forms and unfortunately, less people are choosing to study this qualification. In the past, the MBA used to be the only degree considered by a fresh manager. However, these days, that decision is not as easy as it used to be. Due to the shift in the global economy, the need for competing degrees and choice is essential. This has been made clear in Europe, as there has been an increase in requests for MIM (masters in management) degrees, which has led to a decrease in MBA applications in many established schools. In Asia, a decline has also been seen, but there is no course that has taken its place. China has started to push part-time EMBAs as a premium product and India have a flagship postgraduate business degree that is targeted at recent graduates. There is no clear predication of what the future of MBAs looks like, but as things go online and it becomes easier to study and gain a qualification, things could change for the better.

The Modern MBA

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These days, the MBA is still a popular degree and it is continuing to adapt across the business world. The MBA is still a powerful boost in many careers as it responds to employers’ demands and new technologies. One of the ways in which the qualification is keeping up with the current times is the number of specializations it has to offer. This allows people to thrive and stand out in a particular market or field with this qualification. The MBA is also adapting to a global workforce. As more and more people are gaining access to the internet, clients and colleagues around the world are starting to become closer than ever before and the MBA has started to take on and teach these new technologies. Blended learning is also starting to become more common, so people can split their time between independent online study and learning in the classroom. Modern MBAs are starting to emphasize soft skills, which are valued by employers. Even though this degree has seen a lot of change, general management is still the backbone of many of the MBA programs on offer.

Cost and Commitment

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One of the main reasons why people avoid studying an MBA is due to the cost and commitment of the course. Traditional MBA programs from the top business schools around the world can cost hundreds of thousands. This includes the price of tuition fees, accommodation, living costs and loss of income. Even though the degree can be extremely beneficial, the cost of study is something that many of us are not comfortable with, especially those with an existing job and a family to take care of. Fortunately, the cost and commitment of an MBA are starting to change for the better. Many people are choosing to gain their MBA qualification via online study. As well as being cheaper, these courses are flexible and can be studied around an existing career. If you prefer classroom-based learning, then part-time study or an EMBA could work well for you.

Reasons to Study an MBA

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There are many reasons why you should study an MBA. This degree allows you to acquire new perspectives and skills, and students will learn the best practice in every area of a business. An MBA will give you a chance to advance your career, as it gives you the edge you need to stand out from the crowd and teaches you a wide range of information that will be valuable in the workplace. With a better career, you will earn more money. You may also be entitled to other benefits due to your high position in a business. This degree is recognized across the world, so it opens up global employment opportunities. Studying an MBA is not always about progressing career. This management qualification is said to be one of the most challenging programs out there, so you may just want to set yourself a personal challenge or reach a goal of achieving a degree. When you study an MBA, you will meet loads of professionals, business owners and young entrepreneurs, which will allow you to grow your professional network and make friendships beyond your academic experience. If you have always loved the idea of running your own business, then getting an MBA gives you the opportunity to become your own boss. You will gain a number of skills that will be essential when it comes to setting up your own business and will let you refocus your career. For more reasons on why you should get an MBA in the evolving workplace, click here.

Job Opportunities

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Before you study any kind of degree, you need to understand what job opportunities will become available to you. As mentioned previously, MBAs are becoming more specialized, which will allow people to follow a certain career path within an industry they are interested in or passionate about. One of the best things about an MBA is how versatile it is. You can apply this qualification to so many different career paths. Roles that are currently craving MBA graduates include financial advisors, management analysts, investment bankers, finance managers, information technology managers, marketing managers, HR managers and business consultants. With so many opportunities available to MBA graduates, once you have completed the program, you will just need to find something that works for you.

The MBA has come a long way since it was first created. As well as new and altered content, the MBA is a degree that can now be studied in a way that suits your current personal and professional life. This qualification is recognized globally, making an MBA extremely valued by employers and businesses all around the world.

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