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U.S. Business Schools Feel They Prepare Students Better Than European, Asian Counterparts, Kaplan Survey Finds

kaplanU.S. business schools believe their MBA graduates emerge better prepared for today’s business world than do graduates of their European and Asian counterparts, according to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep. No real shocker, right? But somewhat more surprising is the prevalence of that view. In Kaplan’s survey of more than 200 top U.S. business schools, a whopping 95 percent believe that American business schools better prepare their students than European business schools do. As compared to business schools in Asia, 92 percent of U.S. schools were confident their students were better prepared, this even amid the growing prominence of Asian MBA programs.

Survey respondents also expressed overwhelming confidence that MBA graduates from U.S. schools are properly prepared amid the rise of a tech-focused economy, with 95 percent of respondents saying so. Business leaders are not entirely in agreement, Kaplan notes, citing a Gallup study last year showing a third of business leaders disagreeing with the statement that “higher education institutions in this country are graduating students with the skills and competencies that my business needs.”

Despite their apparent confidence in their students’ preparedness, some U.S. schools are making changes to their curricula to reflect changes in the needs of businesses, the Kaplan survey found. “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,” Brian Carlidge, Kaplan Test Prep executive director of pre-graduate and pre-business programs, said in a statement.

For example, the Kaplan survey found that 26 percent of U.S. MBA programs have added a course to teach students how to code; 64 percent do not have any such course and the remaining were unsure. Of the 64 percent of schools that don’t currently offer a coding class, only 7 percent said they may develop one.

Kaplan’s Carlidge predicts a shift in this area in the future. “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,” he said in a statement.

Learn more about Kaplan Test Prep’s recent survey on U.S. business schools’ confidence in MBA graduates’ preparedness.