Survey of Senior Business Leaders Reveals Ongoing Deficit of Job-Ready MBA Grads [Press Release]

Posted Mar 20, 2014 by Media Relations

BOSTON, March 20, 2014 -- Hult International Business School (Hult) released a report today entitled “The Future of Business Education & the Needs of Employers.” Hult Labs, the school’s internal think tank, interviewed 90 C-suite executives and managers from global Fortune 500 companies to discuss their perspectives on traditional MBA programs and whether MBA programs equip graduates with the requisite practical skills to make a meaningful impact for their employers. Interviewees expressed overwhelmingly that, despite efforts to modernize MBA programs, business schools continue to do a poor job preparing students to enter the workplace, largely because they do not adequately measure the skills and behaviors that prove most useful for evaluating talent and predicting success. 

“Despite employer needs for more graduates with better skills and abilities, business schools are clearly still behind the curve in producing these graduates,” said Hult President Stephen Hodges. “While much has been written about the need for business education to modernize in the face of 21st century change, not much actual change has occurred.  Some programs have introduced new course topics and a renewed emphasis on practical skills, but a fundamental rethinking of how student abilities are measured and meaningfully improved during an MBA needs to occur for business schools to stay relevant.”

Interviewees referenced the following shortcomings in their critiques:

  • Business schools make their learning experience too structured, which prevents them from developing students who are able to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.
     
  • Business schools continue to overemphasize theory, and should instead concentrate on providing real-world experiences.
     
  • Business schools don’t emphasize ten critical skills and abilities – self-awareness, integrity, cross-cultural competency, team skills, critical thinking, communication, comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty, creativity, execution, sales.
     
  • Business schools don’t measure student progress or ability on these skills accurately or rigorously enough.
     

For the leaders of Hult International Business School, the report affirms the drastic need for an overhaul of the traditional MBA curriculum.  As a result, Hult will introduce its own completely re-imagined MBA experience in September 2014. 

For more information on the report, visit www.hult.edu/labs

Hult Labs is a research think tank that delivers thought leadership on the future of business education to stakeholders of Hult International Business School.

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