Taking the MBA plunge

Those who enter program now will be ready and waiting when economy and good jobs come back

Feb 21, 2009 04:30 AM

Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew

Staff Reporter

When the business world slows down, applications to MBA schools go up.

It’s no secret these are difficult times in the business world. Companies are cutting jobs and freezing hiring, and stock markets are way down.

Still, MBA schools say that applications are way, way up. Those who take the plunge into an MBA program, which can cost as much as $65,000 for Canadian students at top-tier schools, hope to acquire skills that will put them at an advantage when the economy rebounds.

MBA schools are doing their best to bring discussion of the latest events into the classroom – whether it’s falling stock markets, mass layoffs or directors who were asleep at the controls – as they help educate the next crop of business leaders.

At the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, applications for the full-time MBA program at up by about 10 per cent to 1,500 this year. That’s for about 260 spots.

“People are thinking now is a good time to go back to school because it’s not a good time to get a job,” said Richard Powers, associate dean and executive director. “And they want to be in a better position to find an interesting job in an industry that they want that’s being compromised right now.”

In the part-time programs, which take three years to complete, the number of applicants is flat. These mid-career recruits would typically get financial support from their companies, as well as flexibility in their work schedules – two things that may feel like big requests these days.

To read the complete article:

http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/588855