Home' Forge : Vol 1 No 3 Contents education // 65
According to the 2014–15
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Jobs
& Salary Trends survey at the
end of last year, employers were
forecasting 12 per cent growth in
MBA demand in 2015.
There are 86 different MBA courses
offered at 47 business schools in
Australia. Costs of doing an MBA
vary from $75,000 at Melbourne
Business School (MBS) and
$71,040 at the Australian Graduate
School of Management (AGSM),
to $21,653 at the University of
Newcastle, and $17,940 at Central
The MBA market is also changing
with the times. Demographics and
technology are shifting.
Ross White, Education Data
Manager at Hobsons, which ranks
MBA schools, says that the MBA
is now being challenged by other
degrees. ‘It’s got competition these
days from the Masters in Marketing,
[and the] Masters in Management,'
White says. ‘Increasingly, the
thinking is that prospective students
are looking at those other sorts of
degrees in the same light as the
MBA, [so the MBA is] no longer a big
thing to have.'
Dr Pete Manasantivongs, Director of
Global Engagement at MBS, says the
big change is that more people now
want to complete the course over
one year rather than the traditional
two years. That, he says, is very
much about a changing market.
‘You are starting to see more traction
with one-year MBA programs.
The standard model, up until
fve to seven years ago, was the
traditional North American two-
year MBA where [for example] you
start around September of 2015
and you graduate in May 2017,’
Manasantivongs says. ‘What the
industry is seeing is more attention
to a one-year MBA – either one
that fts into the calendar year, say
January to December, or a 12-month
MBA that starts in August and goes
through to the next August.
‘There are reasons for that. With
certain industries, particularly
those affected by disrupted
technologies, if you're out of that
space for two years it’s almost as
if you should never come back,
because there's been so much
happening in the two years.’
Julian Vieceli, MBA program
coordinator at Swinburne, says
the MBA is changing in another
way. Students are much more
connected these days, he says,
which means that there is less
need now to have lectures.
‘MBAs need to evolve, as do
all programs [in order] to keep
current and meet the needs of the
market,’ Vieceli says. ‘I think if
you are still teaching what you
were fve years ago, you are in
a bit of trouble – so you need to
keep relevant and change what
you are doing, and meet the needs
and the technology that the market
is operating with.
‘Education itself is evolving. It used
to be “chalk and talk” in the old
days, where someone spoke to you
for a long time, and you listened and
absorbed knowledge. Nowadays, if
you walk into a class, what you notice
is that everyone is using a device
constantly, so as you’re talking they’ll
be looking things up.
‘The students are very different.
They're really connected; they're
entrepreneurial and they want
to get out – they want to start a
business. Their aspirations aren't
middle management any more;
they're running a company,
running a start-up – they know a
lot coming in.
‘When I was an undergrad,
the person talking to me knew
everything. Now, I can check it as
As a result, Vieceli says that the
Swinburne MBA has become
much more experiential, rather
‘We don’t do lectures anymore.
We do seminars, we do a lot more
[that’s] experiential, we do a lot
more intensive and block-mode
[work], and we blend a bit more.
‘We might have weeks when you
don't come in to class at all, but
you actually interact with each
other online because that's really
valuable. Even if students don’t like
it initially, we are skilling them up
in terms of connectedness.
‘We are looking at connected
devices and wearables, and
‘We run intensive workshops, and
at least one of them. It helps with
forming cohorts, and helps with
forming really strong bonds.
‘At postgrad [level], I think that
experiential learning is vital.
“Chalk and talk” does not work
anymore. Students need to be
immersed, and learn in a deeper,
more meaningful way.’
The other big change is online
delivery. Every MBA course around
the country now has online learning.
Some of them have dedicated online
services with no classrooms.
‘There is more online delivery, but I
think that the trend is toward blended:
some online, some face-to-face, block
mode and intensives,' Vieceli says.
‘Students need to interact face-
to-face occasionally, and I think
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