Following on from my accidental MBA I noticed there seem to be three things people are looking for in an MBA books, brand and buddies. By books I mean learning new skills, whereas brand is getting three magical letters after your name and the prestige of the institution offering it and buddies, the building of professional networks.
When shopping for textbooks (often secondhand on sites like StudentVIP) I noticed many schools across the various ranking tables were using the same textbooks. This is not to say the quality of the learning would be identical, but its a strong indicator that there is a lot of equivalency across the various programmes in terms of content delivery.
Doing my MBA across a number of institutions and then teaching into some as well its pretty clear each MBA is striving to be as high as possible on the various ranking tables (business is competitive right?). While in some there were clear marketing differences about the programmes focus, for example for some it was all about the institution, for others it was more about the student and maybe had particular areas of focus or excellence that wasn’t always immediately apparent. Brand is a key factor in the selection of an MBA and its reflected in the price. David Jones or KMart…its up to you
There is a lot of talk about the importance of networks with your peers in the various programmes. The various cohorts I noticed through might include those recently graduated, overseas students and professionals doing a bit of personal PD (or sponsored). I suspect if your mid management in mid to large sized business this might be important. Overwhelmingly the strongest cohort I have noticed though was in a lower ranked programme…very surprising