Getting Your MBA in a Recession |

Getting Your MBA in a Recession

By QS Contributor

Updated Updated

Even though the bad economy still dominates world news headlines, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get an MBA degree. In fact, getting your MBA during a recession can provide many benefits.

Benefits of an MBA

There are two major benefits to getting your MBA in country that's going through a recession, states Nick Barniville, director of MBA programs at ESMT. "Firstly, it will be cheaper to live there than during a boom and secondly, the lateral thinking promoted by an MBA program may allow optimistic MBAs to see opportunity where others see gloom. The experience MBAs gain in the area of strategic innovation, creativity and business modelling can equip MBA graduates to take an early advantage of green shoots in the economic recovery."

The second benefit of getting an MBA during the recession is the chance to study, and learn from the recession as it happens. "One of the benefits to studying in a country with a depressed economic outlook is that the students can have a close perspective of the effects the economic troubles can have on the country" according to Itziar de Ros, MBA admissions director at IESE Business School in Spain.

MBA Case Studies

The events of the recession can then be turned into MBA case studies which help students analyze globally significant economic issues that affect worldwide trade and business.

"The debate going on in Spain about how to revitalize the country's economy, how to fix its financial system, and how to promote innovation feeds directly into our MBA classrooms," IE Business School's Dean of Programs, David Bach explains.

But it’s not just Spanish business schools that are able to offer their MBA students insight into economic recovery. Countries in around the are affected by the global economic crisis, and international this perspective on events can be incredibly useful material for MBA case studies.

"The problems are not uniquely Spanish. Japan, Ireland, the UK, and even the US are asking the same questions," adds Bach. "Debating them with our students in the classroom is exciting because of the tremendous diversity we have at IE. The challenges ensure that the ‘real world’ is never far away.

"Crises make leaders. Anybody can succeed when things are easy. But real leadership is required when things get tough."

Economic Recovery

However, the benefits are not one-sided. Increasingly, countries are looking toward entrepreneurs and innovators for ideas about how to achieve economic recovery.

"Ultimately, the path to Spain's and to Europe's economic recovery is through entrepreneurship and innovation and there was never a more urgent need for fresh management thinking and young leaders embracing a challenge," Bach states.

According to Dan LeClair, AACSB's senior vice president and chief knowledge officer, MBA graduates and alumni are key to economic recovery, as efficiency and effectiveness are innate to them.

"There's no single way [that MBAs can help economic recovery], but certainly organizations; business organizations, non-profit organizations, government organizations; they're all important in helping us to make the world work better.

"That's what MBA graduates do, they help make organizations work more effectively."

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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