Tag Archives: Pepperdine

Are Online MBA Programs Worth the Investment?

There’s a recent story in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, titled “The Online MBA Salary Blues,” which discusses the idea that graduates of distance learning MBA programs may not see as much of a salary increase as those who finish traditional, class-based programs.

The story is mainly based on the entrance salary data for the inaugural cohort at University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School’s new online program, MBA@UNC. BusinessWeek essentially posits that since incoming students already make substantially more than the class-based students ($128,500 vs. $55,000 per year,) it will be very hard for the online grads to see the same increase that the traditional students see. Although this hypothesis is mostly speculative and ostensibly limited (after all, the online program at UNC has just begun, and there are only 19 students in the inaugural class) it will be a fascinating case study for distance learning programs generally, seeing as how UNC’s online program offers the exact same curriculum as its class-based program, for the same price.

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Interview: John Mooney at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business

John Mooney

John Mooney

Part-time MBA programs can offer flexibility and value for working professionals. John Mooney, associate dean and professor at Pepperdine’s Academic Programs for Working Professionals, says that the benefits don’t stop there.

What are some of the advantages of part-time MBA programs?

For one thing, it’s a far more immediate learning. Theories of learning have recognized for many years that the quality of learning improves dramatically when you move beyond passively consuming new knowledge and are able to apply it immediately. And that’s the big advantage for working professionals.

The other big issue about MBA programs for learning professionals is the affordability issue. If you’re going to do a full-time MBA program, it means that you have to make a conscious decision to stop working. And that implies a loss of income for the duration of that program.

And with part-time programs, students also get to continue progressing in their career. Many of our students tend to get promoted before they finish, and that’s a clever strategy on the part of employers because as an employer, you don’t want  somebody to finish their MBA and then decide they want to go somewhere else.

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Why B-Schools Require Work Experience (It’s for Your Own Good)

I caught the QS World MBA Tour last night in Berlin. There were a number of business school reps there, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to ask them something that’s on the minds of many in the FIND MBA community these days – applications and qualifications.

One of the questions that keeps coming up in our discussion board each year is “Why do I need work experience in order to get into business school?”

So, I asked around. Here’s what they said:

Marc Endrigat, Pepperdine University (Graziadio)
“If you don’t have any work experience, you’re not going to get as much out of the program. Until a couple of years ago, we used to not require work experience, but then the students and the professors said that the people who are in the program without work experience cannot contribute in the classroom, and they don’t get as much out of the classroom. If they don’t have any experience that they can relate the theories to, they’re not going to learn.”

“The work experience that someone brings into the program is usually going to be the biggest asset on their application…I would say that the quality and amount of work experience can supercede a lower GMAT score.”

Melissa Jones, INSEAD
“At INSEAD, you need a minimum of 2 years of work experience to get admitted to the program. The average of our students is 6 years. We just feel that bringing that experience to the classroom can bring so much more value than coming straight out of an undergrad. When you’re in the classroom, 50 percent of the learning comes from the professor and the other half comes from all your peers. So, if you have that experience, that’s when the learning really takes place.”

Spencer Altman, Alumni, HEC Paris
“It’s actually for everyone in the program, including the person who is applying … With all of the subjects that you cover in an MBA, it’s important – with 4, 5, 6, or in some cases 8 years (of work experience) – to be an expert in at least one of those subjects as some sort of reference point to apply to the rest. So, if you’re an accountant, to at least be able to say, okay, I know this.”

Hanne Jeppesen, Open University
“This is the leadership level, so you need to the actual experience to apply what we are teaching. If you go into a full-time MBA straight after university, you have no experience to apply it to, and you’ll come out at the end of it knowing all the theory about how to be a good manager and how to be a leader, but have no grip on about how to apply it to real life. When you learn theory, it’s important to have some idea in terms of how it applies to a real-life situation. You’ll be an expert on the theory of management, but you won’t be a manager.”

Photo: Annie Mole / Creative Commons

Video: MBA Programs in Southern California

Another video! This one about some MBA programs in Los Angeles and San Diego. Enjoy!

MBA Programs in Southern California from FIND MBA on Vimeo.

More information about the schools mentioned in this video:
UCLA Anderson
USC Marshall
University of San Diego (USD)
UC San Diego (UCSD) Rady
San Diego State (SDSU)