In May, my colleague Jessica Brown provided a snapshot of MBA degree program disciplines, focusing on data collected in the 2013-14 AACSB Business School Questionnaire (BSQ). Her data found that, among AACSB-accredited schools, General Business and Management are the runaway leaders with respect to disciplines offered for MBA degrees, collectively accounting for 51.4 percent of all MBA programs offered. This shouldn’t be particularly surprising, as MBA degrees are often positioned to provide a broader, more generalized understanding of management, whereas, those seeking more specific interests often seek a specialized master’s degree.
Snapshots used in this way are valuable for gauging the number of program offerings among a group of respondents at a given point in time. Looking at Jessica’s data, I was curious about how the makeup of MBA degree program disciplines had changed over time. Instead of looking at year-over-year change, which results in a smaller sample size, I decided to take two snapshots utilizing a controlled set of 592 schools (disregarding accreditation status) that reported in both 2009-10 and 2013-14 BSQs. For the purposes of this post, I will be rounding out to two spaces, so that the smaller changes are not lost due to rounding.
MBA Degree Program Disciplines
Among MBA degree program disciplines, the greatest increase with respect to the total was the general business program discipline, which saw a 3.80 percent growth during this period. While the total number of MBA programs reported declined by 114 within this controlled set, the general business discipline increased by 21 total programs. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, CIS/MIS, e-business (including e-commerce), and Other (which would include a wide assortment of miscellaneous programs) saw the greatest declines, though these declines were rather nominal, at just (0.78 percent), (0.53 percent), and (0.50 percent) respectively.
Using the same controlled set of 592 schools and instead looking at Master’s Specialist programs during this period, there are (unsurprisingly) some stark differences.
Master’s Specialist Degree Program Disciplines
While MBA programs saw a decline in total programs, Master’s Specialist programs actually saw a 142 program increase overall. The discipline which was the greatest benefactor of this increase was finance, which added 32 new programs, giving it a 1.05 percent growth with respect to the total percentage of Master’s Specialist programs offered. Accounting saw a similarly favorable spike, growing by 22 programs. Interestingly though, due to the overall increase in Master’s Specialist programs offered, the Accounting discipline actually fell by 0.52 percent with respect to the total. The greatest increases with respect to their percentage of the total, other than finance, were general business, strategic management, and quantitative methods. As was the case with the MBA, e-business declined, losing 3 programs.
Which degree programs disciplines do you expect to see make headway in the next five years? Which will see the greatest decline? And, to what do you attribute the gains made by degree program disciplines such as the Master’s Specialist in Finance, or the General Business MBA? Share your thoughts in the comments or let us know at email@example.com.