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Is a one year Masters of Business Administration (MBA) a quality qualification?
Melbourne Business School thinks so. It is introducing a 12-month full time course, shortening the program from 16 months or two years. “It allows for a smarter way of learning in a shorter time,” Melbourne Business School dean Zeger Degraeve says.
As Melbourne Business School MBA program market insights director Pete Manasantivongs explains, the Melbourne Business School chose to offer the shorter program for a couple of reasons. One: it’s the way the market’s moving, he says. Figures from the Graduate Management Admission Council, which owns the GMAT exam – a key hurdle for many MBA admissions – and also collates information about management education for graduates, reveal a growing appetite for shorter courses.
The other key factor in Melbourne Business School’s thinking on offering the 12-month course is the reality of working life and the various costs to students of taking time out. It means there’s “one less opportunity cost out of the workplace, so they can go back to their jobs after they get the skills and knowledge they want in an MBA,” Manasantivongs says.
Melbourne’s move comes as universities come under scrutiny for the time it takes to get qualifications. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson contended recently in BRW that universities could be more efficient, with both better and shorter courses. Among his arguments was the view that undergraduate university courses could be shortened by a year or more.
But not everyone agrees. Big recruiter Capgemini, which hires some 20,000 to 25,000 recruits to its global workforce of around 120,000 this year, including many MBA graduates, is concerned that the all important industry experience that’s often a hallmark of an MBA might come under pressure.
“I can see the efficiency argument of shorter (courses,) but personally I’m not sure that will generate the best output,” consulting, technology and outsourcing company Capgemini Australia and New Zealand chief executive, Paul Thorley, says.