Executive MBA

MBA classes return to face-to-face learning, but students find it harder to attend

L.Local Master of Business Administration program returns to in-person instruction after disruption caused by Covid-19 —
The transition to normal that is affecting MBA programs and their students.

During the pandemic, students and prospective students had more free time, including remote work, and a lot more flexibility, allowing more people to attend classes. But as life outside the classroom returns to normal, would-be students are finding it more difficult to fit MBA class schedules into more structured workdays.

An MBA from California State University, Northridge said: Director, Kristen Walker.

Free time was an important factor pursued by students I completed my MBA the previous semester when the pandemic froze or disrupted the pace of business sector and recreational activities.In addition, universities Students have more reasons to apply for an MBA with extended admission rounds and reduced or removed standardized test requirements.according to the office According to education news outlet Poets & Quants, most of the top schools near the start of the pandemic saw an average nearly 23% increase in applications.

Now, according to Walker, limited free time and obligations are returning as bigger obstacles for students deciding to pursue an MBA. As a result, fewer students were admitted following the program’s latest application window. After speaking with prospective students who have decided not to enroll, Walker said their decision was based largely on their ability to attend classes to fit their work schedules.

Students come out of the MBA program with practical assignments such as a consulting final tasked with consulting with small businesses in the San Fernando Valley. Previous projects undertaken by students have included working with local pharmacies, catering companies and large non-profit organizations.

CSUN’s MBA instruction is part-time, with face-to-face classes in the evenings. However, the pandemic has intensified virtual instruction, and hybrid flexible classes are on the rise. Through this modality, students can conduct video conferences in face-to-face classrooms as needed.

According to an article in Poets & Quants, a survey released this year by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that while most students prefer face-to-face instruction, interest in hybrid programs is growing at all levels.

“As before the pandemic, the number of candidates (44% in 2021) who prefer specialized MBA program types such as executive MBA, part-time MBA and flexible MBA over those who prefer a full-time master’s degree in business interest in hybrid delivery is higher (20%) or in MBA programs (13%), but interest increased significantly across all programs between 2019 and 2021 ‘ reports the study.

majority of women

CSUN’s Nazarian College. (Photo by David Sprague)

Currently enrolling an estimated 218 students, the CSUN MBA program is predominantly female, comprising 59% of the program’s current enrollment. Students of color make up approximately 60% of the program’s roster, something Walker is proud of.

“Northridge, California is that type of institution, and you couldn’t have asked for more. We have a large Hispanic population, not just in college, but in MBA programs,” Walker said. “For the first time this semester, I think there are only a few fewer female applicants than last semester, but there are always about 200 registered.”

Walker said the program’s curriculum is also evolving in light of the changing business environment. At CSUN, I plan to pursue a Master’s Degree in Analytics that includes courses and electives available for the MBA.

“We also had a new elective this summer. It was all about the strategic use of information and how it impacts digital business models,” says Walker. “This is very exciting because it means that we are very responsive to changes in the market.”

According to Walker, faculty numbers are on track, and more MBA and MBA-adjacent faculty will be added when a master’s degree in analytics is introduced next year or in 2024.

Some of what Walker and company have to recover from after the disruption caused by COVID-19 are social opportunities and activities, such as mixers and guest speakers, that foster more connections among students.

Mid-career professionals are typically the kind of people who enroll in programs, Walker said.

“Most of our students are fully employed. Some of them want to change the industry, and that makes perfect sense. , I teach students who want to move up the ladder of their institution,” says Walker. “And he said the MBA provides them with the opportunity to compete for higher-level management and leadership positions.”

CLU program

Kyle McIntosh, director of CLU’s MBA program.

Another university with an MBA program in the Valley area, California Lutheran University, shares a similar target group with CSU Northridge.

Most students in CLU’s MBA program have two to three years of work experience. However, according to program director Kyle McIntosh, in recent years more and more students are choosing to move directly from undergraduate business his program to an MBA.

The program allows students to pursue general MBA and MBA degrees with a focus on marketing, IT management, finance, international business, etc. Programs can be taken full-time or part-time, and instruction can be fully online, fully face-to-face, or hybrid.

CLU’s MBA offering also includes an Executive MBA program ideal for mid-career professionals with a minimum of 5-7 years of work experience.

“Recently, the biotech industry has exploded in our region, and we see a lot of opportunities in that space,” McIntosh said. “Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in students from financial services companies as well.”

The base cost of the MBA program is $39,375, supplemented by a limited number of scholarships.

“Given the lifetime return on investment, a full-time MBA of just under $40,000 is actually more affordable than many people think,” McIntosh said, adding that CLU is a great value from students. I added that it’s a program I hear a lot.

CLU prices are higher than CSUN prices and range from $26,000 to $36,000 depending on the student’s eligibility to participate in the program.

Other colleges near or in the Valley area also have competitive MBA price points.

CSU Channel Islands declined to comment, but the MBA program is priced between $19,800 and $28,800. Further east, at Woodbury College in Burbank, her MBA costs were around $50,000 for an undergraduate with a business degree as of last year. Woodbury has a higher base price than its competitors, but also offers scholarships for his GPA projection that can cut costs as much as $20,000.

What McIntosh sees as the X-factor behind Cal Lutheran’s program is the instructor and the way students tailor their degrees to their interests.

“We offer flexible evening, online and weekend options for all courses, making it easy for students to transition between their busy work and personal lives,” McIntosh added. “Additionally, we keep all classes small, so students experience an intensive course tailored just for them.”

Ranked #1 on the Business Journal’s list of MBA programs, CLU invites students for internships at local and regional companies such as the United Way of Ventura County, Procore Technologies, Citizen’s Business Bank, PennyMac Loan Services, and Pure Spectrum Inc. have participated.

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