Is Business School Worth It? How MBA Programs Are Revamping in 2019 | WSJ

Is Business School Worth It? How MBA Programs Are Revamping in 2019 | WSJ

(bright music) – I’m mostly looking for a flexibility, since I am a working professional. – I think the network is a huge factor. – I feel like an MBA for
me is a second chance. – [Narrator] Is an MBA worth it? It’s a question that many
prospective students, like these, are asking themselves. Until recently, getting
an MBA was considered a relatively safe bet, one likely to yield a big bump in salary. But in recent years,
applications to programs across the country are down. Why, that’s not entirely clear. Some point to the strong
economy, others to rising costs. But what is certain is
that schools are beginning to change as a result. (slow bass music) The Questrom School of
Business at Boston University, ranked 36th last year among
two year MBA programs, recently made headlines when it announced an alternative to its, roughly, $55,000 a year Residential Program. A new online MBA had a ticket price far lower than its competitors. – We plan to launch in the Fall of 2020 an MBA degree priced at 24,000 and available only online
on the edX platform. It’s an MBA degree, but the
product is completely different than what you would get in
the full time MBA, on campus. It’s a completely
different product designed for a different audience
that has different lives, different needs, so they don’t
have six years experience, they have beyond 10 years experience. They’re much more seasoned,
and the MBA allows them to advance in the career they’re in. – One of the challenges your facing, and many business schools
are facing nation wide, decline in applicants. – Yes, nation wide the
applications for MBA are down. They’ve been down at different
levels in different schools for almost five years now. – What about your school? – We were down as well, but
not as significantly as others. – How much were you down? – In the MBA we were down, this year, 18%. (bright music) – [Narrator] The school’s
dean, Susan Fournier, says, “Her MBA program was
able to fill its incoming class “with qualified students.” But, she also saw a
need for something new. I was curious was Questrom’s
current full-time students thought about this declining
interest in their degrees. – How many of you are confident
that five years from now it’ll have been worth it? – [Narrator] Meet Nari, Airian, Michael, Carolyn, Saeid and Danesh. Each of these full-time Questrom students has a different background
and a different career goal, but they’re all confident
that their MBA degree will help them take their
careers to the next level. – Do you ever have moments
when you ask yourself, is it worth it? – Yes I do.
– Saeid, you do? – Yeah, it’s because the
opportunity cost for me is really high. – You’re a doctor. – Yeah, I had those moments,
but when I sit in a class and I hear some new
concepts, some new lessons, and it’s like eye opening
to me, wow, this is what this happen to us, or this
what, this is happening. I just say, this is the
right time to be here, this is the right place for you. – Carolyn, you’ve never questioned whether it’s worth it or not? – When I hear conversations like this, I think a lot of it depends
on where you were before, and it sounds like some
people were really in a job that they really saw themselves in and felt deeply entrenched. For me I really wanted a big change, and I didn’t know what
that change would be, so I feel like I was the
perfect person to leave and be excited about being
here to reset and relearn. – [Narrator] Today, Questrom also offers a variety of specialized MBAs. There’s the Social Impact MBA, the MBA plus MS in Digital Technology, and the Health Sector MBA. – Half way through my undergraduate
degree in biochemistry I realized I didn’t wanna
do the academic thing, but I did wanna make an impact in the health sector in life sciences, and so I thought, the
best way of doing that was to kind of, follow the money. – As an engineer, you’re
limited in your career choices. As an engineer MBA, the door opens. And so now I have the technical expertise and I know how it translates
into the dollar math. – Have you all heard
about the online program that BU just announced? You know it’s not gonna cost quite as much as what you’re paying for here
at the residential program? Do you feel like, if
that was offered to you as an alternative, would you have said, I’m gonna stay at home, save some money. – I was considering going
to an online program when I was applying, but decided against it for a few reasons. One is, definitely the experience. You get to actually meet people. (laughs) It’s a huge part of the value
that I saw in the degree. – When they start offering MBAs to people through an online program,
does that dilute the value of your degree? – It’s something I’m concerned about, but having a more specialized degree, having it specifically in health sector, I think it helps me a little bit more. – You’re here because you wanna get more than just the education out of it, and that’s the biggest thing
that sets the regular MBA from the online MBA part. – Really ask yourself, what
would enable me to pick– – In terms of academic
knowledge that one gains through a residential
program, the two year program, can you get all that in an online program? – You won’t get the ability
to go deep and to specialize. – Can you learn leadership
in an online course? – Yes.
– You can? – Yes, but you can’t
go as deep as you might if you took a whole other year and took nothing but leadership courses. – Is this a good time to be
a dean of a business school? – It’s really a test for
how to manage a business. – This is a business. – It is a business, and you
know, we provide products that meet people’s needs
and the market is very, it’s very dynamic. – By dynamic you mean there’s
less demand for it now? – No, dynamic meaning it’s evolving a lot. It’s challenged in some ways. There are some cultural trends
that challenge business, overall, challenge higher ed,
so you really have to know the astute business analysis of your case. I’d say 50 years ago, you
know, you had two products, an undergrad, an MBA, you were good to go. Some schools today have one product. We have 10 products, because
the market is very complex.

Comments (97)

  1. If you have to go to school to learn how to be an entrepreneur, you already lost. Part of being an entrepreneur is "figuring it out" let's be real, people get MBA's for prestige and get to hide from the real world longer through academia

  2. No cos i want my net worth to be $1

  3. Venture capitalist love online school, one of the easiest ways to scale a business to naive idiots.

  4. I'm asking myself this question about an MPH.

  5. Learning about forecasting and so forth was useful but nothing beats experience, ya gotta put theory into practice.

  6. No. It's not worth it.
    Best to just take out a business loan and go for it on own. Learn as you go.

  7. One thing you surely learn in MBA is to nod your head

  8. It is of course not a new reality but I am suprised that a teaching institution sees itself as a business and that it sells products.

  9. Having an MBA means you "master" the field. You have a full understanding of business nomenclature.

  10. Translation for the title of this video: “New generation questions the need for an MBA in order to become a corporate or governmental functionary”

  11. Women only. Female privilege at it's finest

  12. like it or not, it is just a piece o paper. most people are not really interested in learning, they just want the paper to advance in their career.

  13. MBA? LOL
    Every masters degree apart from Medical are pointless as everyone can learn and get information from everything on Internet and books and there are online education portals that help a lot.
    The reason people do DEGREE is because they need to differentiate themselves from the competition when searching jobs on market and having full time degree always helps over online degree.
    I am surprised you didnt cover that part in the video. Thats Dumb!

  14. If you want to truly learn business, make a business and be an entrepreneur. You don’t need a business degree to do business.

  15. Not the end all be all solution anymore ( well.. it never was I suppose). It all depends on each person's life conditions

  16. Structured education can be useful to light the fire of the mind, but not beyond that. The question of how much is necessary depends on the individual and the situation. I do think that, averaged over all of society, (and particularly for graduate programs) we tend towards the "too much" side of the scale.

  17. After all like she said it's a business

  18. Feel like MBA is worth it if you get it from top uni

  19. Applications are down, admissions ain't.

  20. Starting your own business, owning and running it for a few years, looks way better than just simply having an mba on your resume when applying for a corporate business position.

  21. Not worth it if you're doctor.

  22. It’s a ‘it depends ‘ question. A MBA from Stanford or prestigious means something, a MBA from some online university is probably bs.

  23. "complex market" stands for they're losing to the power of the internet because people are waking up to the fact it's overpriced, irrelevant outdated information, that you can find find for free on the internet and by actually running a business you know… like real businesses do lol

  24. Why not look at the broader industry? Is this an ad for Questrom? Uninformative of the larger trends happening in this market and how DIFFERENT schools are tackling them.

  25. i am doing an online mba at one of the oldest universities and its totally worth it. great to share the classroom with people from all around the globe, whom i also met in person during a onsite week. lets be honest, most do it to get the paper that opens doors. i could learn the same on one of the moocs, but when you apply for a job or raise money for a venture the certificate does the trick

  26. It depends on the circumstances

  27. All my bosses who had an MBA were no good and aboslute d***ks

  28. I find that the ones that say its a waste, are the ones that can't do. They have a heuristic and bias in their decision making. Who can't do, complain. An MBA is useful depending in how you use it. And don't even come at me with these millionaires that dropped out or never went to university. That right the is a a bias called insensitivity to sample size. Theres a lot more millionaires with degrees than without.

  29. Soooo if I spend $50,000.00 and several years I too can answer simples questions with big words in a fancy way?! 🤔 Say no more! Sign me up!

  30. Not worthy. Follow Valuetainment or search Patrick Bet David, worth more than a MBA. And yes, run your own business.

  31. The best thing you can get is connections

  32. I really enjoy journalists who are aggressive during interviews. good job!

  33. Because companies are realizing people with MBA’s don’t know much more than a kid who watched business videos all day on YouTube or someone who has actually started a business and ran it successfully.

  34. Very good interviewer. To the point, honest, but not overly aggressive. Got the most out of his interviewees.


    ONLINE MBA = Totally worthless

  36. Absolutely NOT WORTH IT in 2019!

  37. Still better than a degree in feminist study’s, fashion,social justice, black study’s, or political science

  38. Employers don't care if you have live class MBA or online MBA

  39. Yikes. It's a hard no. Better off putting the 50k + into a house. Also I've worked with many MBAs and they're no more proficient than people with BAs. If anything they're worse because many think they're better so their over confident dispositions.

  40. In my experience and opinion, most "degree's" aren't worth it. College is a bloated experience that cost a fortune and mostly a bloated education, very little of it is tied to the actual field of study.

  41. MBAs teach you how to smile as you kill.

  42. This is a pointless question. An MBA from Harvard surely opens doors, an MBA from Phoenix University not much. I guess if you have to question whether it's worth it than it's most likely not. Think of it as buying a car, would you even consider buying a particular car if you have doubt in its safety.


  44. Dynamic is the word. Why would anyone hire someone listening to professors for 2 more years?

  45. MBA is for the rich who have too much free time to be productive.

  46. Earning a MBA degree doesn’t guarantee you a high paying job, but at least prove to everyone that you are not just someone.

  47. The Economist magazine not long ago said that it is better to see all seasons of Breaking Bad in order to learn about business v MBA Programs. That's what I advice while teaching in MBA Programs.

  48. Would u rather have me pay for ur $24,000 mba or have $24,000

  49. In summary:
    This will help me to do things and the things I learn to do other things is amazing and there are so many things I learned that I think this will help me to do things which will not help me to do real things.

  50. Gets a MBA, works for company owner who never finished high school.

  51. education is an industry

  52. When I grow up I'm gonna play in the MBA!

  53. "It is a business."

  54. I enjoy my MBA classes. Is it worth it? Maybe only time will tell. I already make decent money as a Software Engineer, but formulating business strategies and seeing things from a different perspective are things I definitely enjoy.

  55. Wow. You choose people from all colours, but conveniently put the two white faces ahead!

  56. Is MBA worth ??


  57. 24k for an online course? How can you even say that with a straight face?!

  58. Good interviewer! Asked the right questions while being respectful. Thanks!

  59. If your truly interested in business you won't' take an MBA

  60. waste of time. you can master the art of business if you spend time in a flea black market

  61. Even she called it "product"

  62. Is there no Gender Studies MBA? Gender Studies seem to be the "in" thing nowadays.

  63. With such high cost but just end up working on some fast food chain?…. a big NO!

  64. If you are mediocre, an mba should not allow you to go ahead!

  65. Looking back to my HBS MBA… I mostly benefited from the network gained on campus plus the signaling through the strong HBS brand. Still would recommend to do at least one of the FT top 100 MBAs and fully or partially on campus. Personally I would not hire a candidate with an online MBA.

  66. After working almost 6 years now I decided to join MBA and already complete all the test. Hopefully it will worth in my career, wish me a luck.

  67. The teachers who teach MBA, what experience do they have in business

  68. Online is done by many people but the companies they work from don't pay special attention to them. If you are full time then without any doubt Recognized immediately.

  69. I think everyone needs to learn how to make money on their own. I went into trading 20 years ago and it's been very good for me. My family owns their own business and they have also done well. Learn things on your own, if you really want it you'll do it, most people don't really want it though that's why they do not do it…..

  70. No degree has more millionaires

  71. Ek Dinesh bencho har jhga hai hi😂

  72. A lot of MBA in England are online. Not exactly revolutionary

  73. MBA enhanced my previous exposure to real life business situations.

  74. Education is a business.

  75. still doesn't answer the original question …at least one thing's certain, an MBA education is just another product, only that it costs you and arm and a leg and then some 🙄

  76. The interviewer is Great. Realy good questions and to the point.
    Keep going.

  77. If that business teacher knew what he was teaching he would be out in the field making big money. .not in a classroom

  78. An MBA is only as good as the school that it comes from.

  79. Mba is still better than engineering

  80. 2:00 I see a Hong Kong flag!

  81. Why complain about $50k when medical/dental students are $500k in debt?

  82. In terms of money, energy, and opprtunity cost you might be better off using a quarter of those financial resources stretch out many years (plus no interruption to earning a wage and large loans to pay back) to self study, taking online courses, taking short term (2 to 8 week) courses that focus on a specfic skill set, going to networking events, finding like minded individuals, talking to career coaches, finding mentors inside and outside your organization, and just having this mindset and belief to always improve your self. There are use cases in getting an MBA, but getting the next notch might not be the answer, its more of a hollistic approach. You might not need a MBA, so the value is you understanding your path might not need a MBA. And if your path does then your selection of schools should be top 15 schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, NYU, Columbia, Dartmouth, Berkeley, Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan, Virginia, Yale, Duke, and Cornell.

  83. I would value a more specialised post grad higher, like a C.A, C.F.A, AICD

  84. I hate this interviewer, can’t stand his face

  85. Hey folks, i would like to hear your opinion on degree marketing. Is it worth it?

  86. Yes!!! I will apply

  87. No it’s not. There, saved you time.

  88. Higher education is always worth it folks.

    Now, how much you spend on it is a purely personal choice.

  89. Real video start at 5.21.

  90. MBA from Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, MIT and UChicago is worth it. Others, not so much. Plain and simple.

  91. I think on the whole going to university is all about networking,

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