Even well established American business schools are seeing a step drop in applications for their MBA courses. Top tier MBAs like Harvard, Fuqua and Haas are seeing falling demand for their MBA courses. Given the red-hot state of the US economy, why is this happening? This article cites three drivers for the waning popularity of the traditional American MBA:

a) Students now have found many other ways to acquire the skills that an MBA drills into them. For example, online courses in Finance and Marketing or specialist business qualifications in say, supply-chain management, are perfectly viable – and lower cost – ways to acquire valuable skills.

b) Chinese applicants want to do MBAs in China and the country’s high quality university system is catering to this demand. Alibaba, Tencent and their like are heavy recruiters of MBA graduates and they are happy hiring locally trained MBAs.

c) The opportunity cost of doing a full time MBA when you are in your 20s is very high for talented people (who know they can get good jobs in Tech or Finance without the MBA). For such people, the part-time MBA is a more viable way to get a more rounded business education.

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