Reflections on Graduate Education in the 21st Century

University MBA programs, like some other services, have an interesting and unusual property: they have multiple customers for the exact same product. In traditional sales of consumer products, there are often situations where multiple consumers in the same household use the same product. But the people in a household have a connection to each other and engage in continuous ongoing joint decision making. In the case of the MBA degree, the purchase decisions generally are made autonomously by the student, employer and sponsors, and usually in quite different time frames, yet they all share in the product.

This phenomenon poses interesting challenges to the design and marketing of MBA programs. The challenge involves every element of marketing: selecting appropriate markets, designing the program, delivering the program, pricing the program, and promoting the program. This paper focuses on some current issues in design and delivery with which most schools are grappling.

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