Questions arise about value of an MBA

By Bethanni Williams

Admission applications for UK’s Master’s in Business Administration program have dropped in the past year.

UK’s program admission is not the only one that is experiencing this change. One-third of MBA programs have also reported a 10 percent decrease as well in their admissions, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.

This type of information raises the question if one needs an MBA or not. The prolonged uncertainty in the job market has discouraged many applicants nationwide over the past three years which is why applications are low, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“For some companies, a bachelor’s degree means cheaper, more malleable workers and that’s just what they need right now,” The Wall Street Journal article said.

In other words, an MBA is slowly losing its value; it still counts for something and can add credibility when looking to change job markets.

However, the financial crisis that the nation is experiencing has played a role in corporate recruiting strategy, said Melissa Korn from The Wall Street Journal.

While many MBA programs are experiencing the decrease in enrollment like UK, the university still manages to keep people interested in its program. To get an MBA at UK, there is an 11-month program, and a student can earn 50 credits through its Immersive Program, unlike most programs that take two years to finish.

UK’s program enrolls 60 to 75 students, it is economical for tuition and fees, and even with its admission rates, it has not dropped as much as other MBA programs across the nation, said Harvie Wilkinson, the MBA program’s director.

While enrolled in UK’s MBA program, it offers hands-on experience through its three month “Project Connect.”

The 25-week project is where students become “an integral member of a student team” where they work closely with executive mentors on three projects, according to the MBA program’s website. The three projects focus on the core business processes students study.

Some students return for the evening program, so they can still be in the workforce and still gain the specific skill set they need to be successful. The evening program’s applications are a little higher than the day time program, Wilkinson said.

Enrollment in UK’s part-time MBA program is still high and “bucking the trend,” Wilkinson said.

“MBAs are great if you’re interested in being a corporate manager or want to own a business,” Gordon Holbein, a management professor, said. “They are good for certain people, who have certain goals, and know where they have been and where they want to go.”

He said MBAs benefit those who have been in the workforce or who are looking for a new career.

The question that is left is if an MBA is worth it.Some students say yes, but the job market and many applicants are saying no.

“MBAs aren’t for everyone,” Hobein said.

Students have to really know where they’re going and what they want to do with their life and career, Holbein said.