MBA News

Best Free Business MOOCS for MBA Students

Fall season is upon us, and students returning to business school need a low-cost way to refresh their skills.

What to do?

Consider some of the free online courses available. Called massively open online courses or MOOCs, since 2012, these online classes have been offered by a variety of universities like Harvard and MIT and private providers like Udacity.

While not quite the disruptive force in education they were once thought, MOOCs are still excellent sources of knowledge and good preparation for graduate students. Some get upwards of 1 million enrollees yet only 50,000 might complete the entire course, according to The New York Times.

Where to start? There are now thousands of free business courses available online. Some offer video lectures while others provide lecture notes and readings. You won’t have access to teachers and other students. But the free materials do provide deep dives into important business concepts.

For instance, MIT’s Sloan School of Management offers a variety of self-paced classes and course outlines–from Decision Analysis to Entrepreneurial Sales. You can find more about MIT’s offerings here.

For more information and a complete list of free online course providers, visit here and here.

Career Opportunities for MBA Graduates

What can MBA graduates expect of their careers when they get out of school? Continual change.

A recent report from Oxford University suggests that nearly half of U.S. jobs are vulnerable to computerization. Some 45% of America’s occupations will be automated within the next 20 years. Computers will start replacing people in dangerous and critical areas like transportation and logistics as well as some sales and support jobs.

Then, better artificial intelligence will create a second wave of computerization. Even jobs in management, the sciences, and the arts could be at risk.

What professions will benefit from technology? We don’t know yet; disruption and dislocation continue to play out across the globe.

But knowledge workers and entrepreneurs who have the confidence to navigate unfamiliar waters will fare better. For MBA students and workers to win the race, researchers say they will need to acquire creative and social skills that are not susceptible to computerization—in other words, higher-level intelligence.

Unfortunately, the generation of Americans born after 1980 is strong in technology consumption but weak in technology problem-solving. These so-called Millennials have the highest levels of educational attainment of any previous generation, according to the Educational Testing Service (ETS). But across the range of important skills like literacy and numeracy, U.S. millennials score lower than the majority of developed countries.

That’s troubling. According to the researchers at ETS, if we expect to have a better educated population and a more competitive workforce, we’ll need to shift the conversation from educational attainment to skill-based learning and whole-brain, creative problem-solving.

The job opportunities that will grow the most are those that require high social and analytical skills, according to best-selling author Jeff Selingo and David Deming of Harvard University.

For MBA graduates, the competition of the future will not be just with fellow MBA graduates but with the growing presence of robotics and artificial intelligence. Keeping an edge will come down to superior decision making, creativity, and social networking—all very human characteristics.

Paying For MBA Tuition Costs

It’s getting harder but not impossible to find employers who will pay for some or all of the tuition costs of an MBA education. In a recent survey, 68% of companies responding in 2011 paid for their employees’ part-time MBAs; 57% contributed to the tuition for executive MBA students.

By 2013, that contribution had dropped to 30% for part-time MBA programs and 26% for executive MBA programs.

What happened? Following the 2008 recession, many employers cut back on HR benefits, including tuition reimbursement programs. Thankfully, global companies like Intel, Chevron, Wells Fargo and others are still willing to invest in their students through business education programs.

Another option? Look for more affordable MBA programs, which can be completed in less than two years. The lower tuition costs found at programs offered by Merit Business School will keep you out of debt and provide a better ROI in your business career.

Who’s Hiring MBA Graduates?

  • Some 88% of corporate recruiters plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2016, which is 8% higher than last year and 33% higher than 2010.
  • Internationally, more companies this year in Asia and Latin America plan to hire Master in Management and Master of Finance graduates compared with 2015. A larger share of companies in Asia, Europe, and Latin America will hire Master of Accounting graduates this year compared to 2015.
  • More than half (54%) of employers plan to increase starting salaries for new MBA hires in 2016.
  • U.S.-based employers plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting base salary of $105,000 in 2016, up from $100,000 in 2015.

According to recruiters, the MBA is still the prize of graduate business degrees. Leadership potential ranked as one of the highest individual attributes among candidates getting hired. For their part, Asian-based companies hire MBAs to “gain a new perspective.” More information about the study is available here.

Those are all very positive trends for management students. Now is the time to get the expertise and leadership skills that come with a quality MBA program like those offered at Merit Business School.

Recruiters Seek MBA Graduates

Source: GoodCall, GMAC

Now Enrolling MBA Students For Fall 2016 Start Date

Are you ready for a high-quality online MBA program? Now is the best time to gather materials and apply.

We’ve streamlined the process. Complete the short Application form and get admitted for the fall term. To make it easier, Merit has temporarily waived the application fee, and decisions are made quickly.

But time is running out. The last enrollment dates for 2016 are August 29th and October 24th. Don’t miss out on achieving your career goals.

Merit Accreditation with BBB

Great News! Merit Business School (formerly EAS) is now accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Merit upholds BBB standards by building trust, advertising honestly, telling the truth, being transparent, honoring promises, being responsive, safeguarding privacy, and embodying integrity.

Executive Academy of Scottsdale BBB Business Review

Are You an Enterpreneur?

Many people want to start their own business, but not everyone has what it takes to succeed.

Whether true entrepreneurs are born or taught is uncertain. But there are specific traits that successful entrepreneurs all possess. Really, the question should not be whether being an entrepreneur is right for you but, rather, are you right for entrepreneurship?

For instance, can you handle the stress, the ambiguity, the lack of structure, the uncertainty, and the sea of opportunities that await if you decide to start your own business?  Ask yourself these questions below, and see if you have what it takes.

  • Do you have a big enough ego?  Are you your own (and your business’) biggest fan?  If you don’t believe you’re one of the best at what you do, no one else will, either.
  • Are you disciplined enough to set work hours, meet deadlines, and pursue new clients without getting distracted by TV, the great outdoors, or sleeping late?
  • Are you a mind reader?  Ok, maybe not a real mind reader, but are you willing to ask questions to ensure that you understand what exactly your client wants and if you are meeting his/her expectations?
  • Are you willing to live within, even below your means?   Running your own business is rife with financial ups and downs – entrepreneurs are willing and able to cut back, sometimes way back on spending.
  • Are you motivated, day in and day out to work on growing your business?  The faster you finish a task, the faster you can move on to the next one, which means more money in your pocket.  And, beating, not just meeting a deadline instills confidence in your clients that you can be relied upon. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can sacrifice quality!  You need to be able to get as much done as you can in a day, you never know what tomorrow will bring!
  • Have you been practicing your yoga?  A true entrepreneur has to be flexible, and able to create balance.  Entrepreneurs have an uncanny ability to rearrange business and work schedule to accommodate clients’ requests while still finding a work/life balance for themselves.  All work and no play does not an entrepreneur make.
  • Are you an “Honest Abe” or “Snakey Sam”?  Honesty and integrity are crucial to maintaining your reputation and that of your business.  Entrepreneurs realize that they are the public face of their company and ensure that everything they do reflects well on their business.
  • Are you an accountant in the making?  Anyone can send out invoices, but it takes a certain breed to follow your daily cash flow.  Entrepreneurs know exactly how much money their business has, and more importantly how much they need to make!  Detailed, accurate records are critical to the financial health of your business and are indispensable for tax purposes.
  • And finally, do you have rose colored glasses?  Yes, an entrepreneur needs to be an eternal optimist.  It is likely that at times you won’t get clients you really want, and projects you bid on.  Having a positive mindset and using failure to fuel you for success is the only way for your business to flourish!

Need more help? Consider an MBA program that will help you build the skills of a successful entrepreneur.