The month of October is full of pumpkins and changing leaves, but the outside world is not the only thing changing. The landscape of business education constantly ebbs and flows with our ever changing global business environment. This month has brought an announcement of a changing online MBA program as well as some interesting articles about the online MBA world.
For those that are looking for more information on programs, Online MBA Today has published two new rankings: the Top No-GMAT Online MBA Programs Ranking and the Top Online MBA Programs in Nonprofit Management Ranking.
Enjoy the latest news for Online MBAs!
Suffolk University & Keypath Education
Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School in Boston will be partnering with Keypath Education to expand "programming and student support services" for their current online MBA program. These include improvements to aspects from recruitment to course development to helpdesk support.
Classes for the revamped online MBA program will begin in January 2019.
Suffolk University is a private, nonprofit, research university. It has an enrollment of over 7,500 students and is the eighth largest in the metropolitan Boston area. It is made up of Suffolk University Law School, College of Arts & Sciences, and the Sawyer Business School. The New England Commission of Higher Education has accredited the university.
Keypath Education provides online program management services to universities around the world.
As an increasing number of people turn to freelancing as full-time jobs, the question of whether or not an MBA is helpful or even necessary keeps coming up. Forbes addresses the pros and cons of an MBA for those freelancers who find themselves with already successful businesses.
Forbes lists three pros. First, for those considering expanding their ventures, an MBA offers skills and background in areas like human resources and management many may be lacking. It also helps with networking, which is never a bad thing. Third, it offers freelancers space for "professional development" – what are the relevant issues, cutting-edge technology, or, merely other perspectives to consider to help drive a business forward.
When it comes to cons, time, money, and "immediate payback" make Forbes' list. Freelancers are already busy, it's a considerable expense, and what a student can get out of a program isn't always going to quickly add to their bottom line, if at all.
In the end, freelancers are invited to consider non-traditional options, such as part-time or online MBA programs, which offer more flexibility than their full-time, on-campus counterparts.
As MBA Programs Decline Nationally, University of Florida Bucks Trend – Gainesville Sun
According to the Gainesville Sun, the University of Florida has seen a decrease in applications to both its one-year MBA and online MBA programs. However, it has seen a rise of four percent in its traditional two-year MBA programs, which goes against a general, nation-wide trend toward decreasing enrollment in MBA programs.
The Sun sites the Graduate Management Admissions Council, which found a seven percent decline in applications for MBA programs. It saw a more significant drop, 10.5 percent, when it came to international student applications.
The reason for the decline, according to John Kraft, the dean of the University of Florida's Warrington Business School, is a combination of low unemployment, encouraging prospective students to stay in their current jobs, and more students choosing to pursue specialized business master's degrees instead of MBAs. He thinks it's also due to federal policies and better business programs in other areas of the world that are leading to a decrease in international students.
Andy Lord, senior director of admissions for the University of Florida's MBA programs, attributes the increase of the school's traditional MBA program with the fact that it's ranked in the top 20 nationally and because of its full scholarship for the two-year programs.
MBA Enrollment Is Down Again – What's the Future of the Degree – The Longview News Journal
The Longview News Journal also reported this month on the decrease in MBA enrollment. With the seven percent drop in MBA enrollment, specifically in the full-time programs, several schools have had to close their traditional, full-time, on-campus programs despite 30 years of high enrollment across MBA programs.
Those in particular trouble are the ones that have not adapted to the times. Adding new concentrations, online or hybrid delivery, or even part-time options have all helped those programs who aren't experiencing such a dramatic drop in enrollment.
In fact, it seems online and accelerated degrees, especially ones with affordable price tags, are the future of MBA programs. According to the dean of the College of Business, Education and Human Development at Louisiana State University of Shreveport, their online MBA has grown from 400 students to over 3,000 since 2014.
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the future of graduate business education is in programs that are increasingly specialized.