In the words of Warren Bennis, the founding father of Leadership studies, “managers do things right; leaders see the right thing is done.”
Unfortunately, that message is scrambled by the fact that George W. Bush was the first and only President to hold an MBA. The least popular president of modern times – below even Richard Nixon – the smoking gun suggests that Bennis’ bullish point of view on management style might need an update.
In the sobered-up globalised world, MBA programmes are now about undergraduates auditing knowledge, reinforcing what they already know and discovering where their skills gaps are.
“After experiencing a significant decline in opportunities for MBA students between 2008 -2009, we saw a return to normal recruitment levels in the third quarter of 2010, which has been maintained throughout the year." says Jacqueline Wilbur, senior director of the MBA Career Development Office at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Management consultancies and investment banks are again in a war for talent in most markets.”
The QS Top MBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2010/11 backs up these claims. The report notes the finance sector as hiring 22% more MBAs in 2010, and predicts a further increase of 11% in the coming year. MBA graduate hiring in the consulting sector also increased by 19% during 2010, and is set to increase by a further 37% during 2011.
Experts predict MBA hiring in both sectors returning to pre-recession highs in the next two years. Consequently, MBA graduates of 2012 to 2014 are likely to benefit most from this future hiring peak.
Experts predict MBA hiring in both sectors returning to pre-recession highs in the next two years. Consequently, MBA graduates of 2012 to 2014 are likely to benefit most from this future hiring peak
With many schools’ lectures now available on the web, conferencing technology improving and case studies, text books and the like available digitally, there is seemingly little need for a student to attend a campus at all. In turn, the students mood of elasticity replicates the global economy in microcosm and to a greater or lesser extent, all the main European business schools have reacted to it - with Asia being the primary target for both rising employment markets and student base. For example, illustrious institutions like France’s INSEAD have recently opened facilities in Singapore, and Lancaster University has expanded into India.
The centre of economic gravity is shifting, and herein lies the rub. While the West is still feeling the market aftershocks, there is a mass appetite in South and South East Asia for management graduates. According to Bloomberg, the number of MBA jobs reported by employers in India shot up 43 percent in 2010, and 19 percent in China. What Europe and the US does have is excellent faculties that the world still looks on with envy when it comes to leadership training.
Perhaps their flexibility towards a changing global marketplace proves Bennis’ correct after all – leaders do see that the right thing is done…