The Diminishing Employer Demand for the Traditional MBA

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Andrew Crisp, Co-Founder at CarringtonCrisp , joined the podcast to discuss their recent study, The Future of Lifelong and Executive Education , and the reinvention of the traditional MBA that employers are demanding.

Every company is a digital business nowadays, and so the skills that employers want for their MBA's have moved on. They'll still want some finance skills, but more importantly, they looking for those digital skills. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Du podcast network. I'm Eric Olson with Helix Education and we're here today with Andrew Crisp, cofounder at Carrington Crisp. Andrew, welcome to the show. Hi Eric, good to be here. Really excited to have you here and talk with you today about the diminishing employer demand for...

...the traditional MBA. But before we dig into that, can you give the listeners a little bit of background on both Carrington Crisp and your role there? Yes, hi, so I wanted the CO founders of Carrington Crisp. We set up two thousand and four. I guess it wants two thousand and three that sort of type, specifically to work with business schools on branding issues. Since said, the business has grown quite significantly. We've worked in thirty five countries with about two hundred institutions, mostly business schools still, but a few, why the university clients as well, and a range of projects, all backed by five annual market insight studies we do which look that the future of NBA's the future of Masters, along the relations school branding and digital communication so very embedded in the business education world. I love how your continued research continues to tip off where the NBA continues to evolve. Ender to kick off this...

...research driven conversation, can you provide us just with a high level overview of your most recent study on the future of lifelong and executive education? Yes, absolutely, Eric. So we've run a study three times in the last decade looking at executive education and then last year, during the pandemic, we did a series of studies on one of the things that came up time and time again was the growth of reskilling and upskilling, people staying in the workforce longer, needing to update their skills acquire new skills, and so we put together this study at the beginning of this year to look at whether there were connections between executive educational life long learning, how the two might come together in terms of what business as educations are going to provide the marketplace. And ran a study with linkedin looking at these topics where we surveyed about two and a half thousand individual learners around the world and five hundred employers to get their views on...

...how the market was involving. It's a fascinating research study. I'd argue. One of the most striking stats, at least to me, that came out of this research is that a for seventy seven percent of those five hundred employers believe that higher ad really needs to reinvent the NBA. Why do you believe that's the case? And maybe, more importantly, reinvent into what? That's a great question. I think there are a number of drivers here. So we're not talking about the end of the NBA. The NBA has become a brand, but brands change. You just have to look at the car market and you I'm a say it is or a Jacua. Now they're available as fully electric vehicles and so in the same way, the NBA brand has to change and I think for employers it's driven by a couple of things. First of all, what they find they need in terms of skills in their businesses. So you go back a decade, twenty years, and corporate finance was a mainstay at the NBA. It's not today. Yes, of course finance...

...is still important. Yes, AC county is still important, but actually it's technology, it's digital. Is Transformation and every company is a digital business ourdays, and so the skills that employers want from their MBA's have moved on. They'll still want some finance skills, but more importantly, they're looking for those digital skills. The other part of this is that employers are reacting to what their customers are saying, and their customers are saying business needs to move forward, business needs to play a wider role across society rather than seeing itself as a standalone almost and to that end we're finding time and time again issues like ethics, ethical leadership, responsible management, diversity, equality inclusion, all of these subjects are much more to the for in terms of what customers are talking about and therefore employers are looking for that again in their MBA's, and so...

...some significant shifts in terms of the content and the positioning as the NBA. You spoke to this concept of for those employers who have mentally moved on from the NBA, let's talk about that. For those specifically who reference that they don't formally partner with business schools anymore on their employee of Skilling initiatives, what are some of those alternatives that they're turning to instead? So one of the obvious ones is that the consultancy firms. You look at mckinzie, look at accenture, how you look at Deloyd? They all have their own training academies and if your company is a customer of one of these, then the chances are they'll also be selling you some training, some development. But it's not just that the big consulting firms. We're finding a number of corporates launching their own academy. It's a great example. Union Bank of Switzerland UBS now have a training academy which originally, I guess, began just training UBS staff,...

...but now anybody can pictu up online and take a program with them. Very Short, simple, cheap programs ninety nine up to programs that cost thousands of dollars and it works. Because if you want to have a career in financial services, then having UBS on your CV as the brand that batch your training is something that'll be recognized by any other financial sector employer. So it doesn't have to be one of the traditional business education writers. It can be a corporate education provider and I think even beyond that. You then look at the short course offerings, from course Sarah, from Edex to you, from you to me, from all hosts or manner of organizations. Is a I read recently an Indian organization which is one of the largest providers in this marketplace. You then got companies like Meritus as well, offering sometimes programs that have come...

...from business schools but not now offer directly by the school but by this third party. So a real breadth of providers in the marketplace that working in a way that employers are interested in that perhaps isn't available from the traditional business schools. In your on the on the optimistic side, I think. I think one of the good news or at least silver lining stats they came out of this research to me was when you asked employers about their views on the legitimacy of ourline education versus a traditional in personal environment. Can you share more about what came back there? Yes, absolutely, I think. Well, it was happening before the pandemic too. There were signs that more employees were interested. They were buying a corporate services from some of these organizations. I just mentioned the course eras and others like that. But what has happened over the last fifteen, eighteen months is employers have had to work online, they've had...

...their staff working online, they've seen that actually the productivity has been pretty good, in some cases better than it was when people came to the office or or wherever they were working, and so this embrace of all things online has inevitably extended to delivery of development and learning. Of course. The other benefit for the employer is if people are learning online, the costs are a lot lower for them, not necessarily the costs of the fees for the study, but they're not traveling to another location, they don't need accommodation costs, are not perhaps missing out on so much worktime to do this learning and development. So there are big benefits for employers to embrace online learning alongside traditional routes of learning. With so much recent focus on figuring out moving toward lifelong learning models versus hoping or expecting a four year college stent in a students early s alone...

...will set them up before forever career success. How should institutions align themselves with helping employers figure out what lifeline learning pathway should look like for their employees? Well, the first thing is listen, talk to the employers, hear what they have to say, understand how learning moves through an organization and moves through a career, that people need different things at different times and have that flexibility. So don't expect to go to an employer and say we do this. Expect to go to an employer and say so, what is it you want, because we can probably help. The idea that there is only one way forward. It's it's rather like with degrees. You know, largely people had to start them at a certain time as the year and complete them at a certain time as a year. That is not the case anymore. There needs to be that flexibility that you know, particularly if somebody is working, then maybe they want to start studying in April, maybe they want to start studying...

...in January. They're not just going to study start a degree in all sort of September and they may want to do part of that degree and then stop and then come back and do another part of that degree. There was a great interview last year with the Minister for Education in Singapore who talked about the end of linear learning, the idea that you have to go straight through a program and completed in one go. And I think for those who have dropped out of education perhaps in the past, who've not finish their degree, this is a real opportunity to come back later on in their lives, maybe five ten years later, and add the skills that they need to complete that qualification or to pick up some new and different skills of the now relevant to the career they have and to the world of employment, that the labor market that they're part of. So that flexibility is absolutely key. The other thing that I ought to mention it is brand. Brand is going to be so important going forward because, connected to our last point about online learning, employers are...

...certainly open to online learning, but the one question they ask is who did you learn with? There are a lot of not fly by night but maybe not quite as sophisticated providers as employers might hope they would be. Yeah, so employers want to know that the reputation of the provider, that quality of their content, the pedacogy, the impact of the learning, all of these are as at the highest order, and that means working with the branded providers, those who know the business of learning, who know the content that is required and have been listening to employers about what they will need for the future and your tremendous insights. Finally, can you leave us with any high level next steps advice pre institutions who are looking to better partner with employers on their land initiatives? I think there are. There are two or three things that are important. So the first thing is for a lot of universities their main...

...market has been eighteen year olds, undergraduates, maybe twenty two, twenty three, twenty four year olds will for a postgraduate degree. What they're now having to do, instead of dealing with all of these individuals, is they're dealing with companies, and so moving from a B Toc to a b tob marketplace and having the right people who understand how to do that is really going to be incredibly important going forward. Secondly is experiment, take a risk. I spoke to somebody from Oxford University last year as part of a piece of research we were doing and they had never run an online program certainly not a short course nondegree online program and so they went to the market place and they ran their first one on Fintech, and I had a salesand people sign up and they now have twenty of these programs running multiple times during the year and it's a significant part of the business school and oxor's revenue stream. But they had...

...to take a risk, they had to accept that not everything was necessarily going to work first time. So I think that's something that's important for universes as well, because they tend to be quite conservative otherwise. And I think the third thing is online office opportunity. It offers opportunity in the sense that your customers need not necessarily be on your dull step anymore. They could be on the other side of the world, and understanding this learn anywhere at any time market place that is now evolving is really important if you're going to make the most of the opportunities that I might breach it and your tremendous stuff. Thank you so much again for your time today. What's the best place for listeners to reach out at they have any follow up questions, but well ovious. You find US home linkedin. Not surprisingly, they can contact us by email INFO at Carrington Crispcom or visit our website carrying some Crispcom and they'll find a...

...host of information and findings from our research at a little bit more information about the work that we do. Is Business Education around the world awesome and your thanks so much for joining us today. My pleasure IC Nice speak to you. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the shown itunes or your...

...favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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