Education plays an important role in Business when it comes to finding the brightest minds to be the future leaders in our modern cathedral offices. But what is the current state of business education and what are the trends that could be changing the way young people enter the business world.
In the UK they are yet to see the full effects of Brexit, it could possibly taking up to two year to leave. New Prime Minister Theresa May has been surrounded by rumours that article 50 will be enacted in 2017 which means Britain could be out of the single market by 2019. The UK is a massively popular destination for foreign students and many of their top business schools rely on these students since government funding has been withdrawn. What effect will this have on business education?
In the UK the days of free education are over and a degree can now cost anywhere north of £9,000 a year. Unfortunately, this will scare off some of the less well-off but brighter minds, so where do they go? Despite a record 424,000 places being offered to UK universities, some studies are showing a downward trend of interest in education, in place on more alternative methods. This being mirrored in the US, where applicants for MBA courses dropped this year significantly. The GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) said that the trends are a global issue and the percentage of business schools worldwide reporting growth in applications declined for a third straight year, from 61 per cent in 2014 to 57 per cent in 2015 to 43 per cent this year.
This drop in interest could be down to an increased job insecurity after the 2008 collapse and a generally heightened competitiveness in the job market. It is a simple case of a Degree not having as much validity as it used to. Students will therefore look for other options that give them a better chance of being employable.
Apprenticeships are a growing area for businesses with more being offered than ever before and a real opportunity for young aspiring business leaders to get the vital experience students lack, while also earning. A degree would take 3+ years plus extra for an MBA, but entering work straight from school can get you ahead of these students. Babock engineering in Plymouth UK has had a record number of new apprenticeships this year with 123! 12 of these are in business administration and 5 on a higher level business path. They will train to NQ level 2 and NVQ level 3 respectively and will get vital experience with a huge company.
Trends may be pointing towards less business educated graduates, but this does not mean the quality of future workers decreases. Business schools will of course be utilising better practices in future with online courses and a combination of work and study to attract the best candidates, but I could be too little too late. I suspect that options like internships and apprenticeships that are found in the UK will become the norm in business, much like it is in the trades. What once was only an option for people who do not go to university appears to be a viable option instead of!