How Has the Economic Crisis Changed MBA Education

Before the recent economic recession, getting an MBA degree used to be seen as an admission ticket to a well-paid career in finance or consulting. After the recession hit, all of a sudden people started questioning the value of the MBA education – some going as far to declare MBAs as nothing more than a (mostly worthless) piece of paper MBA .

The MBA education has been adversely affected by the economic crisis. For a while, both hiring and salaries seemed to be in a free fall. Open job positions for MBA graduates were few and far between. Those MBA graduates who managed to get a job, were soon after laid off – a situation that was unheard-of only a few years ago.

Luckily for newly minted MBA graduates and students considering a career in business administration, the slump in MBA hiring was only temporary. Once the economy recovered, the job market for MBAs started improving. As a matter of fact, 2012 was the best year for MBA employment since the recession started.

However, some important things changed, possibly for good. It seems that the majority of MBA graduates is not heading exclusively for Wall Street anymore. They are finding jobs in industries as diverse as manufacturing, IT, technology, human resources, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy and utilities – and even in the government and nonprofits.

What about the salaries? The good news is that the median salary for MBA graduates is growing, albeit slowly. Median salaries in some industries – like consulting, finance and accounting – are still better than the others… although that may change in the future.

What that all means for a soon-to-be MBA, or for a prospective MBA? It means that choosing the right specialization is more important than ever! Top business schools have started offering specialized MBA programs that cater to growth industries. A specialized MBA teaches general management principles in the real-world context of the chosen industry.