Prospective business school students are increasingly shunning MBAs in favour of specialist masters degrees that they see as offering a faster and cheaper route to well-paid jobs, according to research.
Two-thirds of those considering a business school place said they would choose a specialist masters degree over an MBA course, the survey by Carrington Crisp, a London-based education marketing group, found.
This was up from 48 per cent in an identical survey conducted by Carrington Crisp last year.
The research involved about 1,000 prospective business school students, most of whom were based in the UK.
The growing interest in specialist business masters degrees is partly driven by greater competition for jobs due to record numbers of people attending UK universities, said Andrew Crisp, co-founder of Carrington Crisp.
Carrington Crisp联合创始人安德鲁?克里斯普(Andrew Crisp)表示，受访者对专业商业硕士学位越来越感兴趣的部分原因是，英国大学创纪录的学生人数加剧了就业竞争。
“With more undergraduates entering the labour market, the masters has become a way to stand out from the crowd,” he added.
Specialist masters courses can be taken straight after completing an undergraduate degree, unlike MBAs, where work experience is expected on most programmes.
Specialist masters degrees also tend to cost students considerably less in tuition fees than the six-figure sums the most highly regarded MBA programmes now involve. This partly reflects how specialist masters courses often last one year, whereas MBAs usually run for two.
UK employers prefer people with specialist business masters degrees because they are more skilled than those with only undergraduate qualifications, but do not demand the high salaries that MBA students expect, said Mr Crisp.
Carrington Crisp’s findings add weight to an argument by some business school deans that higher education institutions should close their MBA programmes.
The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business announced in August last year that it would be phasing out its two-year course, just months after it had been ranked 84th out of 100 on the Financial Times’ global MBA list.
爱荷华大学(University of Iowa) Tippie商学院去年8月宣布将逐步关闭两年制课程。在此几个月之前，Tippie商学院登上英国《金融时报》全球MBA排行榜100强的第84位。
Other institutions, such as King’s College London, have opted against launching MBA courses in the first place, citing scepticism among employers about the value of the qualification by comparison with specialist business masters degrees.
伦敦国王学院(King’s College London)等院校一开始就反对推出MBA课程，理由是雇主们质疑其与商科专业硕士相比的资质价值。
Just 31 per cent of the 1,056 prospective business school students taking part in the Carrington Crisp survey said they would probably complete an MBA at some point — a figure unchanged from last year’s research.
However, the percentage claiming that a specialist masters qualification would be just as valuable as an MBA increased from about a third last year to almost a half in the latest survey.
The market for specialist masters degrees is likely to grow in diversity, according to Mr Crisp.
Data analytics and project management are among several new specialisms being added to core subjects on these degrees, such as management, finance, accounting and human resources, he said.
“There will also be a long tail of specialisms allowing individual institutions to carve our a niche in a field where they have a particular strength, often in collaboration with other parts of an institution,” added Mr Crisp.