4 of the hottest trends shaping global business education in 2019

The nature of business education is evolving. It used to be that a bachelor’s degree was sufficient for obtaining a top-level job and earning a comfortable salary. In today’s job market, significant numbers of professionals are seeking graduate-level degrees to ensure they’re able to compete for the jobs they want. Business degrees are among the most popular in the current climate. The following are 4 of the hottest trends that are currently shaping global business education in 2019:

1. US Business Schools Face Declining Application Numbers

On a global basis, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) reports that the overall volume of applications graduate business programs processed in 2018 remained stable as compared against 2017 application levels. However, regional volume fluctuated significantly in some countries.

The most notable change was the declining numbers of applications to academic institutions in the United States. US News estimates the decline at approximately 10,000 fewer applications, a decrease of 6.6 per cent year over year. Overall, GMAC reports that 59 percent of the degree programs in the United States have reported year-over-year declines from 2017 to 2018.

They attribute these losses primarily to declining numbers of applications from students outside the United States. In the past, the USA was a popular destination for international students seeking business degrees. Significant numbers of those students are now choosing to study elsewhere. The reasons for this include expensive US tuition, business degree programs that take too long to complete and the current political environment in the United States.

Australian universities are friendly to international students, and actively encourage their enrollments. On average, Australian degree programs are less expensive and sometimes take less time to complete as compared against similar programs in the USA.

For example, consider the value offered by accelerated global programs such as the MBA online available from Victoria University. Times Higher Education ranks the school in the top 2 percent worldwide. As of late December, 2018, the MBA News Australia website reported tuition for their MBA program at $40,200 AU (Approximately $28,779 USD). In contrast, comparably ranked universities in the USA have significantly higher costs. Oregon State has a comparable THE ranking; an estimated cost for their least expensive, accelerated MBA program for international students is $37,785 US.

Business schools in Canada and Europe are also experiencing increased applications for admission.

It’s possible that these trends could reverse themselves in 2019 – but if the US economy remains stable, that seems unlikely. However, if the US economy does slow to the point of recession, as some are predicting, it’s possible that significant numbers of employed professionals will leave the workforce and seek to pursue graduate-level business education in the United States. In that case, we could see a rebound in application numbers to US-based business schools.

2. Growing Numbers of Business Degree Programs Are Launching Digital Platforms

Many business schools are exploring their opportunities for online education. They’re pioneering several different formats:

  • Some are releasing courses via their own digital platforms.
  • Some are partnering with existing digital course providers to leverage their expertise and reach.
  • Some are making massive open online courses (MOOCs) available.

These offerings are attractive to students who don’t want to give up their jobs to earn their degrees. They’re also enticing to students who travel frequently for work or personal reasons, as these students can study from any location that offers an internet connection.

3. MBA Programs Will Add Technology Courses to Remain Competitive

Technology is forcing a redesign of the global business landscape. US News advises MBA applicants to look for degree programs that include coursework instructing students on how to incorporate top technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics into their business expertise. They advise students to seek out programs that proactively invite guest speakers whose businesses have incorporated AI into their success strategies.

4. B-Schools Are Admitting More Female MBA Students

Bloomberg reports that enrollment of female students in full-time MBA programs in the United States has hit a plateau in the recent past. To combat the plateau, business schools are creating programs and offering fellowships intended to close the gender gap. Top business schools are actively recruiting female MBA applicants.

These are 4 of the hottest trends shaping global business education in 2019.  We hope this information is useful to you as you map out your future plans for the years ahead.


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