Perhaps if The Graduate were re-made today, the line would go “I want to say one word to you. Just one word…business.” Okay, maybe it would be two words — business school. Is this surprising, considering the recent economic upheaval on Wall Street?
As this Wall Street Journal article reveals, more and more people are considering getting an MBA in response to the economic turmoil of recent months.
Applications are up at schools across the country, from New York University to UC Berkeley and everywhere in between. In fact, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which administers the GMAT, the number of GMAT test takers has increased 11.58% since last year.
But if Wall Street institutions are fundamentally changing, why is a graduate degree in business attractive? Will the employment landscape be too rocky in three years, when new students graduate?
Not necessarily, say some recruiters and business school deans. There will always be a need for finance and management professionals. Though they may have a tougher time finding a job on Wall Street, Main Street will be a different story.
Moreover, courses at some business schools may change in reaction to recent charges that the “unethical behavior” of bank managers and others helped lead to the current crisis.
Rakesh Khurana, a sociologist and professor at Harvard Business School, says that business schools are part of the “ecology of the contemporary business culture”, and that though many jobs that students currently seek are the famously well-paid ones on Wall Street, business schools have a role to play in shaping the attitudes and outlook of future business professionals.