Kaplan Survey: American MBA Programs Overwhelmingly Believe They Prepare Their Students Properly for Today’s Workforce — and Do So Better Than Their European and Asian Counterparts

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538 Twitter: @KapTestNews@KaplanGMATPrep

New York, NY (February 24, 2015) — Even as the MBA landscape evolves with the rise of a  tech-focused economy and the growing prominence of Asian business schools, U.S. MBA programs feel overwhelmingly confident that their graduates are prepared for today’s workforce — and that they are better prepared than their European and Asian counterparts.  According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of over 200 top business schools across the United States, 95% think American business schools better prepare their students than European business school do and 92% said the same about business schools in Asia.* Notably, Asian universities have been steadily moving up global rankings while European stalwarts continue to hold their own: in the 4th annual Global Employability University Ranking which surveys 2,500 international recruiters in 20 countries, the University of Cambridge tops the list, beating out Harvard and Yale, while the University of Tokyo earned a top 10 ranking, edging out Columbia and the University of California-Berkeley (http://emerging.fr/rank_en.html)

Additionally, 95% of business schools that participated in the Kaplan survey say that  “today’s MBA graduates in the U.S. are properly prepared for the changing employment landscape.” This evaluation comes at a time when many business leaders are questioning whether U.S. colleges and universities are preparing students with the skills needed in today’s workforce.  A Gallup study last year shows that a third of business leaders disagree with the statement that “higher education institutions in this country are graduating students with the skills and competencies that my business needs.” (http://bit.ly/1pxsEoV)  Recognizing the skills gap, many business leaders are working with business schools to make sure the MBA degree stays relevant (http://bit.ly/1L9pqSj), and some business schools are significantly revamping their curricula to give students the skill sets needed to excel in an increasingly tech-focused economy.  (http://bit.ly/1E368Ms).

“American business schools continue to produce many of the world’s top leaders in a host of industries, from finance to technology to healthcare, but despite the confidence in their ability to meet workforce needs, many business schools understand they must continue to evolve so that their graduates have the know-how needed  to thrive in a competitive, increasingly technology-driven global economy,” said Brian Carlidge, Executive Director of pre-graduate and pre-business programs, Kaplan Test Prep.

In what may become a trend among business schools that are changing their curricula, Kaplan’s survey finds that 26% currently offer a course  to teach students how to code; 64% don’t and the remaining were unsure.  Of the 64%  that said they’d didn’t offer a coding class, just 7% said they may develop one.

“We think MBA programs may increasingly offer their students  the opportunity to take courses in both coding and data science in the years to come to give them basic knowledge in two areas that businesses are increasingly taking an interest in,” said Carlidge.

For more information about Kaplan Test Prep’s survey, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

*For the Kaplan survey, admissions officers from 204 business schools from across the United States – including 11 of the top 30 MBA programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report – were polled by telephone between August and September 2014.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Additionally, Kaplan operates new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job market and prepare participants for hire.

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