MBA in 2022 – Should You Do Despite the Pandemic?
While MBA has always been a coveted degree among applicants, the pandemic raised some temporary questions regarding the viability of an MBA course. However, pursuing MBA in 2022 is probably as viable as it was in pre-covid times.
Challenges of Doing MBA in 2022
The pandemic is not yet over, and economies worldwide are still recovering from its impact. In these times of uncertainty, the applicants planning to join an MBA course should be prepared to face some challenges.
- Less Physical Interaction
MBA courses always try to embed a culture of high interaction among applicants to experience the free flow of thoughts. The group discussions, brainstorming sessions, debates, and all such activities are designed with the sole purpose of making the student a better communicator.
Unfortunately, the college administrations globally will now be forced to curb physical meet-ups until the pandemic is over. Therefore, applicants will have to find different ways to increase human interaction among peers.
- Leaving Your Job
Since the pandemic is far from over and the global uncertainty about economic growth remains a matter of concern, it would be a tough call to leave your present job for a 2-year full-time MBA.
However, the time of chaos often presents some excellent opportunities, and if you are determined to scale new career highs, you should take the plunge. The pandemic and initial struggle of finding a job are temporary issues, but the rewards of an MBA degree can be long lasting.
- High Fees
The average cost of MBA education in US universities increased by 4.7% in 2021. As the MBA degree stays on demand despite Covid, the fees are expected to go further north, posing a financial challenge for many applicants.
However, applicants can apply for various scholarship programmes to reduce the cost.
- Patience for Right Opportunities
Although the pandemic hit the economies in the hardest possible way, the industries will eventually be on their growth track, creating many job opportunities for the managers.
The challenge before the applicants is to patiently wait and keep looking for the right opportunity to demonstrate their skill set.
Impact of COVID on MBA
When everything around us has been affected by Covid, we can’t expect that the MBA will escape its impact. Following are some areas of MBA education where the Covid impact is expected to be felt immediately.
- Shift to Digital
Before the pandemic, many traditional infrastructures around businesses and education were shifting toward a virtual model. The pandemic has just hastened the process. We can witness this shift to digital learning in MBA courses as well, where applicants will have to be ready to adapt to a digital work environment quickly.
- Upgrading Skillset
The job market for MBA grads is quite dynamic, where no one can accurately predict the market outlook three years from now. Therefore, more stress can be expected on upgrading the skill set of the applicants to make the courses relevant in the post-covid job market.
- Stress on Real-World Applications
Most large companies had to incorporate revolutionary changes at all levels to stay afloat during the pandemic. As a result, some old business models have been refined, and some entirely new workflow systems have been incorporated in different firms.
Hence, the MBA education is likely to be centred around real-world problem-solving examples. We can witness a higher emphasis on discussing various case studies rather than theoretical knowledge.
How Has COVID Impacted Business Schools?
- Investments in Technological Upgradation
While ESMT Berlin is installing microphones on every seat of its auditoriums, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, is upgrading the classrooms to enable its professors to use their iPad as digital whiteboards. Likewise, top B-schools across the globe are heavily investing in upgrading their technology to make learning an immersive experience.
- Campus Design To Support Covid Appropriate Behaviour
Social distancing is a norm today, and it will remain so for some time. As a result, many B-schools are re-designing their campuses to adhere to Covid appropriate guidelines strictly.
Furthermore, the college administrations realize that modifications can be more frequent in the future. Hence, the focus can be on making the campuses cheaper to build and operate.
- Lesser Number of Applicants per Class
While there used to be 80 applicants on an average per class before the pandemic, Oxford university has halved the student intake to 40 applicants. Many B-schools can be expected to follow suit as reducing the number of applicants is vital to maintain hygiene and social distancing.
- Waiver of GMAT Score
This can be good news for many MBA aspirants. Many top US universities have temporarily done away with the requirement of GMAT scores due to the pandemic, and this can be expected to continue till 2023.
Evolution of Hybrid Learning Models
A hybrid learning model comprises both online and offline modes of education. While many people can think of it as a new concept due to covid, experiments were underway for a long time regarding the efficiency of this blended learning system.
Experts found that fully online learning courses cannot replace the benefits offered by offline courses, such as human interaction, conversations and emotional growth. Therefore, the hybrid model seems to be a practical alternative where online platforms are used to deliver courses and lectures while applicants are encouraged to organize meetings for discussions, group tasks and projects.
The University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Michigan are some of the top B-schools offering MBA under the hybrid learning model.
Why MBA Is Worth It in 2022
Historically, every great crisis has been followed by a giant leap in growth and development. There is no reason to believe that it would be any different this time. Once the pandemic is controlled, large global economies are expected to race forward towards growth and development. We can also see some new avenues of business and jobs opening up. In such a scenario, the demand for quality managers is likely to shoot up.
Therefore, MBA courses from good universities can surely help applicants in beginning a management career. Besides, the exposure and the learning curve that a student undergoes during his MBA course tenure can never go in vain.
Stop Overthinking and Do It
Don’t measure the worth of your management degree through the pandemic. The world has undergone many crises in the past, and the pandemic is surely not the last one of those crises. However, an MBA degree can potentially elevate your career path and your life to a new level.
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