Many things have changed in this world since 2020. But the title of MBA (Master of Business Administration) on a resume is still a safe value to join the management of a company. This master's degree is in increasing demand and business schools are adapting their offers and programs to the changing reality at a dizzying pace.
«Previously, a master's degree was the same as an MBA. And not now. But if you don't have the MBA, it seems that you haven't got the coveted piece”, values Rafael Ramiro, director of the MBA Program at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. This is a type of master's degree aimed at business administration, which develops skills in sales, accounting, statistics, marketing and finance, logistics and human resources.
The typology of the MBA depends on the particular business school.
Given the constant evolution in the academic world, a question arises: Is the MBA still the star of the master's degrees? For Jorge Martín Beriola, director of the MBA specializing in Finance at the IEB (Institute of Stock Market Studies), "MBAs are general programs, which is what companies demand, as they look for directors or middle managers who are very heterogeneous, who can be interchangeable in positions and have experience in different areas».
Having an MBA opens doors, because this master's degree in business training is recognized throughout the planet. Sometimes it is even an essential requirement to access certain positions. According to the “Adecco Infoempleo Report on employment supply and demand in Spain 2021”, practically all job offers for managerial positions that require postgraduate training request an MBA (95.2%). By subjects, MBA studies are especially required in the areas of business administration (55.7% of all offers); purchases, logistics and transportation (35.7%); commercial and sales (34.6%) and marketing, and communication and content (21%).
The market demands new content that covers realities such as ethical leadership, global challenges, diversity...
The confinement first and the successive restrictions later due to the Covid-19 crisis have promoted an online educational model. This flexibility motivates a certain 'democratization'. For example, it allows students from Latin America to access the MBA, also with a considerable reduction in fees. But attendance is still an added value. «I am in love with face-to-face training –explains Martín Beriola–. The methodology of an MBA consists of the student reading some topics, analyzing them in the group and then the professor arguing and discussing different points of view. This can only be done in person.
According to Ramiro, “an MBA is an immersive experience where you will learn a lot from the diversity of your colleagues. Immersion is much more than content and that is why it is vital to have an important face-to-face time».
The positive side of the pandemic is that progress has been made in digitization, which favors more flexible teaching. This is what Martín Beriola believes: «The way of communicating, of working, the analysis of data, the way of extracting it, of drawing conclusions has changed».
The general consideration is that the MBAs present a differential training highly appreciated by the labor market. This is endorsed by Manuel Clavel, a partner at Talengo, a consulting firm dedicated to recruiting talent for management teams: «They continue to be the main dish on the menu. They weigh a lot when it appears on a resume.
The digitalization accelerated by the pandemic has given more flexibility to these programs
Manuel Clavel observes a transformation in recent years: «On the one hand, there is a greater offer of this type of programme. And on the other hand, there is a greater variety of profiles in all types of postgraduate courses». At Talengo they look for people with a mix of 'soft skills' and 'hard skills', a combination of skills and training. And they also take into account whether the degree is 'online' or 'offline' and the place where it was taken. "Because there are schools that have greater market recognition," adds Clavel.
Although MBA studies continue to have great importance in the CV, its estimation is given by the institution where it is carried out. «Next to the title, the program and the institution where it is studied must appear. The future is the differentiation between many MBAs and the institutions that offer a consolidated product”, points out Ramiro.
These master's degrees are immersive experiences, where you learn a lot from your classmates
"An MBA is a good business card as long as it is from a school that provides certain quality guarantees," says David Ruiz de Olano, director of the MBA programs at Deusto Business School.
In times of constant change, business schools were not going to be less so. To the online modality we must add the appearance in the market of shorter and more specialized proposals for master's degrees, among which are the micro-credentials or the so-called residential weeks. But do they compete with MBAs? Do they put them in danger?
Ruiz de Olano comments on this: «Programs called MBA have appeared, but they are not exactly. Shorter, cheaper, less demanding, but not MB»”.
An MBA is always a good business card, but the quality and prestige of the program are key
It has been detected that some companies consider the MBA necessary, but not sufficient. According to the latest study published by CarringtonCrisp in association with EFMD, in January 2022, the growing interest in new MBA content that covers responsible management, ethical leadership, global challenges, diversity, equality and inclusion stands out. .
Given this, business schools renew their proposals. But the horizon is still rosy. According to Ruiz de Olano, «the MBA will continue to exist. It will adapt, it will evolve, both in content and in format. As in any market where there is a lot of supply, some will die and those that have quality will continue to exist. The market will decide which ones stay and which ones don't. And those who have quality will continue.