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Riding Out The Recession: A Lucrative Business

Posted By Scott Marchese, Thursday, October 22, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In a previous post, Vako Tamaklo discussed business schools’ tarnished image, in light of their alleged role in training and proliferating a managerial class whose unbounded avarice and sometimes-questionable practices helped steer the global economy to the brink of collapse. (Conspicuous example: Steven Rattner’s account of management at GM.) Leaving aside the question of the degree to which business school educations merely reflect the nature of the prevailing business culture versus actively shaping it, this much is certain: the recession has proved good business for business schools.

While many companies -forced to slash expenses across the board- have been cutting back on b-school provided training, applicants to MBA programs have spiked as workers hope to wait out today’s economic doldrums while gaining skills for a fatter paycheck tomorrow. For those without the luxury of attending a full-time business school, online MBAs offer flexibility and low prices. A recent article in The Economist details the increasing specialization and variety of offerings found at business schools, including Bordeaux University’s Executive Wine MBA. With so many business education choices, and so few job opportunities, many aspiring CEOs have found the allure of the MBA irresistible.

Corporations, too, have been wooed by schools through customized programs offering mid-crisis revitalization, as John Slack of the Association of Business Schools explained to CNN. As b-schools successfully maintain and even expand the scale of their operations, one can’t help but wonder if the lessons of the current economic meltdown have been thoroughly absorbed at the grooming centers of tomorrow’s business leadership. Let’s hope that we all don’t have to learn the hard way, again.


Scott Marchese was an intern at the Global Business School Network.

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