INSEAD's topping of the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings for the first time in 2016, showed the rising popularity and usefulness of the one-year MBA.
Within the United States, the traditional, two-year full-time MBA program is still dominant. Five out of the Financial Times’ global top 10 are two-year MBA programs from the US – including Harvard Business School, where the MBA was first introduced over a century ago.
However, according to GMAC, applications to two-year MBA programs fell in 53% of US business schools in 2016. At the same time, 55% of one-year MBA programs reported an increase in domestic applicants.
Vishal Gaur, associate dean for MBA programs at Johnson at Cornell University is the only Ivy League school to offer a one-year MBA program. Its associate dean Vishal Gaur sees a gradual shift towards more elite schools offering one-year programs.
Applications to the Johnson at Cornell’s two-year MBA remain stable, but applications to the one-year MBA have increased steadily, with the program upping its intake from 40 to over 70 students in a matter of years. 53% of students enrolled on Johnson at Cornell’s one-year MBA are international, compared to 33% on the two-year program – the one-year MBA is still more accepted internationally than it is in the US.
The one-year MBA program is aimed at more experienced professionals; those looking to advance their careers in the same industry rather than switch career track. The current class has an average age of 29, and an average of five years’ work experience between them.
But Shashi Matta, MBA program director at The Ohio State University’s Max M Fisher College of Business, says around 60% of the school’s MBA students get jobs out of their internships and that many employers consider a one-year program not intensive enough.
While some US business schools are still getting to grips with the one-year MBA, in Europe the shorter MBA format has brought schools significant success. According to GMAC, 74% of full-time one-year MBA programs in Europe reported growing application volumes in 2016.
Michelle Sisto, MBA program director at France’s EDHEC Business School, says she’s seen a sharp increase in MBA applicants from the US in particular. The two-year investment in the US can cost upwards of $300-to-400,000 dollars including opportunity cost.
For more information see BusinessBecause.