The Friday Round Up

friday-loves(, 2013)

Another crazy week in the business world has come and gone. We saw Facebook open up its checkbook again, this time to the tune of nearly $2 billion to acquire VR-headset maker Occulus Rift. The Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing companies that are not direct competitors to potentially sue each other over false advertising claims. It remains to be seen how this will affecting marketing managers going forward. Oh, and there is something happening in the Ukraine

So, we thought we would take the opportunity today to turn inward and reflect a bit on an educational issue, one that faces many business schools around the country.

What is and what should make up “The Core?”

Though there is plenty of similarity from b-school to b-school, each university prides itself on defining the “core” coursework that every MBA candidate needs to pass to prepare him or her for a successful business career. These meticulous curricula are crafted by professors and administrators with years, even decades of real world experience and understanding of the challenges graduates will face in the workplace and the skills they need to meet such challenges.

But times they are a-changing. Candidates are not just representing undergraduate business degrees; they are artists and communications majors. They come from finance and economics backgrounds, yes, but also public relations and criminal justice. They are globally diverse, representing dozens of other countries and hence dozens of alternative primary and secondary educational backgrounds. One student is a certified CPA. Another has never balanced a checkbook. But there those two students are, side by side in the same Accounting “core” class required for graduation.

How does any institution, no matter its size and resources, account for such a wide variety of students? Certainly, so many different viewpoints is a boon to any school and really any individual student – the opportunity to work with others with such different backgrounds is irreplaceable.

Using new technological advances not available even a few years ago, some schools are beginning to experiment with how to deliver “core” classes. Still others may read articles like this excellent one from The Financial Times and question what best way to position their candidates for future success and career opportunities?

We want to know what you think.

How should a top-level MBA program structure its “core” class requirements to meet both the demand of the marketplace and the variable needs of its incoming students?

Would you enroll in online coursework to complete some “core” credits, the same way high school students can take AP exams to “test out” of college requirements?

And lastly (because we are marketers through and through), how should a graduate school market itself and its tools for budding professionals? As generalists? As specialists? How flexible can an educational institution truly be?


Have a great weekend!