A Change in the MBA – Is It A Step In The Right Direction?

This is interesting.

Rensselaer decided to tear apart the traditional MBA curriculum. In its place they began building a new program from scratch — and when the dust settled, what emerged last year was an MBA unlike any other. Rather than relying on conventional texts and case studies in standard courses like marketing and finance, educators, led by Iftekhar Hasan, Rensselaer's acting dean, designed a brand-new program teaming up professors to teach together and guide students through real-world business problems in a holistic way. "This is not your father's MBA," Hasan says.

For starters, the degree is broken down into five "streams of knowledge," rather than traditional majors or concentrations. Each stream delves into a different aspect of business, such as Creating & Managing an Enterprise, and Networks, Innovation & Value Creation. It's not that students don't learn economics, marketing, or strategy. Instead, each of those basics is blended into the larger concepts. A typical class might involve a discussion, led by a finance professor, of a company's change in value after a corporate merger, followed by a look at the case by a management prof from an operations point of view. Because the teaching is rooted in events in the contemporary marketplace, there are no textbooks per se. "Our textbooks are newspaper and magazine articles," says Phillip H. Phan, professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship.

That doesn't sound anything like my MBA program. It sounds much more engaging and relevant. I hope this trend picks up some steam and is embraced by other schools.

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