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Q: What do MBAs learn? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: What do MBAs learn?
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: centure7-ga
List Price: $11.50
Posted: 03 Sep 2005 23:08 PDT
Expires: 03 Oct 2005 23:08 PDT
Question ID: 564094
I'm thinking about getting a business degree, but I'm afraid I'd be
very bored. Do MBAs really learn anything useful? If so, what?

Clarification of Question by centure7-ga on 03 Sep 2005 23:11 PDT
I should clarify what I mean by useful:
I would be interested in knowledge of business strategy and/or
tactics. If most courses involve stragegies and tactics of business,
then I may be interested. If it is just some theoretic number
crunching, then I wouldn't be so interested. My question should
probably be: What specifically does an MBA typically learn?
Subject: Re: What do MBAs learn?
Answered By: googlenut-ga on 04 Sep 2005 18:13 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello centure7-ga,

As you probably know, there are many different types of MBA programs
and often various types available at a single school.  However, I have
been able to find some information that I believe you will find

=================================================================== has journals from MBA students that provide first
hand accounts of their experiences, both personal and academic.
MBA Journals
?If you want to know what business school is like, whom better to ask
than MBA students?

Since 1998, we've asked more than 60 MBA students ? with 12 new
recruits for the 2004-2005 school year ? to write accounts of their
B-school experiences and beyond. We've chosen students from a variety
of backgrounds, who have different career objectives, and from a range
of schools.?

I?ve posted a few samples from the students? journals below:
MBA Journals 
Adam Miller: Academics, the Placement Process, and More
Southern California (Marshall)
Class of 2005
?I decided on the sampler menu for my first semester. I took one
finance class, one marketing class, one strategy class, one
entertainment class, and one education class. To the untrained eye it
may look as if I am unfocused. As it seems I came across many of these
untrained eyes during my fall interviews, let me see if I can't show
that my vision (corrected as my picture above indicates) is indeed

MORE THAN ACADEMIC.  From the moment I stepped on campus, I wanted to
strengthen my strategic-planning skills. Taking three complementary
courses in corporate financial policy, marketing strategy, and
strategic valuation helped me move closer to this goal. A company's
direction is often set at the intersection of these three disciplines.
As I wish to be the one setting that direction, I need a strong
foundation in all three.?
MBA Journals 
Barry Zhang: Keeping One's Balance
Northwestern (Kellogg)
Class of 2006
?The classes I took were a mix of core requirements and electives. One
of them turned out to be my favorite class so far at Kellogg:
"Negotiations." The school has a great negotiations program headed by
Professor Medvec, who taught this class. Another course I enjoyed was
"Managing Turnarounds." The instructor was a practicing lawyer who I
felt brought many of the lessons learned in the trenches with him to

Since the point of this journal is to give readers a true feel for
Kellogg, I must say that many of my other classes stick out because
the teaching quality left a lot to be desired. I, and many classmates
I've spoken with, have noticed that there are a few superstar
professors at Kellogg in select fields such as marketing, operations,
and negotiations. However, unless you spend 1,000 points bidding for
each one of those classes (you only have 2,000 your first year),
you'll quickly find yourself listening to instructors who have made
names for themselves in the research journals but don't really belong
in the classroom.?
MBA Journals 
Leela Damm: The First Weeks of B-School
Dartmouth (Tuck)
Class of 2006
?At the beginning of the term we were divided into four sections for
daily classes and also placed in study groups of five or six. The
emphasis here is squarely on team-based learning, and several times
this term when I was academically flailing, study group was my rock. I
had the good fortune to be thrown together with the greatest bunch of
guys imaginable: Kentaro, a CPA from Japan who skillfully steered us
through financial accounting; Alton, a black-belt spreadsheet modeler
and quantitative star with staggering patience; Greg, a former
health-care research analyst and a phenomenally gifted teacher; Zach,
a fellow liberal arts warrior, who kept us powering along with his
great questions and laugh-out-loud humor; and Chris, the master of
succinctness who brought his own colorful style to proceedings (the
hockey draft suit springs to mind).?


?Aside from four challenging classes this term -- Financial
Accounting, Analysis for General Managers, Leading Organizations, and
the initially loathed but ultimately terribly useful Decision Science
-- the job search has already emerged as a major facet of life at
business school.?
Which Full-Time MBA Program Is Right for You?
?Find the full-time MBA programs that match your criteria. From the
results page, click on school names to view in-depth, program
information and more.?


The website of the Graduate Management Admission Council (
also has some very helpful information.
Core and Elective Course Work
?Core Courses
Core courses are usually prerequisites to other courses in a
discipline. Business schools consider core course work in the
curriculum to be the minimum expected academic training needed in each
key business function. These required courses lay the foundation for
the program and are typically taken at the beginning of MBA study.

The core curriculum in most MBA programs includes the following.

human resources/organization management 
statistics/quantitative methods 
technology/information systems 
business strategy?
It seems like there are a million MBA programs out there. Which
business school is right for you?
?Choosing a business school is tough. There are so many options, how
to decide? Let GMACŪ help. We provide a wealth of information about
what you should look for in a business school. Plus, we have tools to
help you connect with them, so you can ultimately choose the one
that's right for you.?


?There are many different ways to earn an MBA. What is best for you?
Evaluate your situation, and learn how to select the kind of program
that works for you.
 What to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Program Type 
 Two-Year, Full-Time MBA 
 One-Year, Full-Time MBA 
 Part-Time Programs 
 Executive Development 
 Joint or Dual Degree 
 Specialty Degrees 
 Executive MBA Programs 
 Distance Learning?
What to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Program Type
?Factors in Choosing a Program Type
No two business schools offer the same curriculum, but most expose
students to a common body of knowledge in basic accounting, economics,
finance, human resources and organization design, marketing,
operations, policy, and quantitative methods and statistics.?

Considering an MBA: What You Need to Know
?What does the MBA curriculum include? 

All MBA programs are not alike, either in what is studied or the
method in which learning takes place. In fact, a single school can
offer several different programs, ranging from full-time traditional
to part-time executive programs. Each can have its own set of
prerequisites, differing schedules, separate concentrations and career
preparations. Be alert for references to 'programs', rather than

The MBA curriculum can be general, with a bit of each major management
area, or focused in a specific area, like marketing. Study includes
the areas needed to be a successful manager, including budget
processes, accounting and legal understanding, human resources
functions, marketing and public relations, technical understanding,
business communications, statistics and often electives from such
areas as international business, e-commerce and entrepreneurship. Each
of these areas may be a concentration that provides depth in one area
over others. Thus, an MBA with a specialization (or concentration) in
Marketing, would provide depth in Marketing with a broad background
covering other management areas, and would prepare students for a
leadership position in a marketing company. Keep in mind that programs
vary widely!?


I hope you have found this information helpful.  If you have any
questions, please let me know by using the request for clarification
feature prior to rating the answer.


Google Search Terms:

"typical mba program"

typical mba program classes OR coursework

Request for Answer Clarification by centure7-ga on 05 Sep 2005 11:26 PDT
You have the following list in your answer:
human resources/organization management 
statistics/quantitative methods 
technology/information systems 
business strategy?

What is the difference between accounting & finance?

Also, of that list, what would you say are the areas most focused on?

Clarification of Answer by googlenut-ga on 05 Sep 2005 11:52 PDT
Hello centure7-ga,

I have included descriptions of Accounting and Finance from Wikipedia
at the links below:



Regarding which areas are the areas most focused on, I think that will
depend on which school and program you choose.  It would probably be a
good idea to use some of the tools provided at the links in the
original answer to focus in on a school and program that focuses on
your areas of interest.

To find an example, I used the tool
and selected ?Strategy? as the area of study.  From the list, I
randomly selected Boston University.  The link below provides a list
of core courses at Boston University:

Boston University School of Management
MBA Core Courses

I hope this helps.


Clarification of Answer by googlenut-ga on 05 Sep 2005 11:56 PDT
Here?s a link to the courses for a concentration in Strategy &
Business Analysis at Boston University.

Boston University School of Management
Strategy & Business Analysis Concentration
centure7-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
I believe you listened very well to what I was asking and so provided
a very custom-tailored answer. Thank you!

Subject: Re: What do MBAs learn?
From: googlenut-ga on 10 Sep 2005 00:26 PDT

Thank you for the 5-star rating and the tip.  I'm glad I was able to help.


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