Nudge limits, student ages, best for international business

Good afternoon from London. Our first article today looks at what prospective students want from their business Master’s degree. Find out why nudge theory may be insufficient for tackling some of society’s major challenges. Also, do you know which MBA schools are rated best for teaching international business?

Thank you for reading Business School Briefing and have a great week — Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

What do business masters students want

Before Covid, few would have chosen to study for a business masters degree online. Now, few would not complete at least part of their studies online, writes Jonathan Moules. That is one of the findings from educational consultancy CarringtonCrisp’s annual survey of prospective business school students, the Tomorrow’s Masters report.

The percentage of respondents wanting to study online more than doubled to 38 per cent, compared with 18 per cent in 2021. Students also told researchers that they wanted to understand technology’s impact on business with four of the seven most popular subjects being tech related: computing was top, followed by AI, e-commerce and big data.

MBAs have something in common with Netflix in that both gained enormous traction during the Covid pandemic period. However, Netflix is now losing subscribers as people return to going out. The CarringtonCrisp study shows that there is a similar need for MBA providers to adapt their offering.

What nudge theory got wrong

The bestseller “Nudge” inspired a revolution in public policy, written by Chicago Booth professor Richard Thaler and Harvard professor Cass Sunstein. Nudge theory describes how tiny, experimentally-proven tweaks, such as changes in rules or incentives, help people make better decisions about their health, finances or environmental choices.

But, as our senior columnist Tim Harford explains, this revolution may be distracting us from taking on more important problems. He makes a reference to an academic working paper by two leading behavioural scientists, Nick Chater and George Loewenstein, from Warwick Business School and Carnegie Mellon University respectively.

Nudge theory, a concept in behavioural economics, can encourage people to take positive actions, for example, exercising more to improve their health © Getty Images/iStockphoto

‘I want to work in China’

A market research analyst based in south-east Asia would like to work in the financial services or commodity lines in China. Jonathan Black, careers service director at Oxford university, will give his advice on how to achieve this goal on May 16. Please share your comments too.

Top 10 MBA schools for international business teaching

  1. University of Southern California: Marshall, US

  2. Insead, France

  3. ESCP Business School, France

  4. Georgetown University: McDonough, US

  5. Iese Business School, Spain

  6. London Business School, UK

  7. HEC Paris, France

  8. Mannheim Business School, Germany

  9. Yale School of Management, US

  10. SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy

The top schools for international business teaching as voted by alumni who responded to a survey for the FT MBA 2022 ranking. © Financial Times data.

Data line: Age gap between online and campus-based MBAs

The age distribution and regional breakdown of graduates differ between the two cohorts, writes Sam Stephens. Less than one per cent of all full-time MBA alumni surveyed since 2017 were over the age of 40 at the start of their MBA, this is 12 percentage points lower than online MBA. Over half of all MBA alumni were aged between 26 and 29 when they started their programme, nearly 30 percentage points more than the proportion of online MBA alumni that were in this age range at the start of their programme.

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Further analysis of the FT’s Online MBA 2022 ranking can be found here.

Work and careers round-up

Working lives are being turned upside down. Keep up to date with job-related trends in the weekly FT’s Working It newsletter. The FT’s work and careers editor Isabel Berwick talks about the big ideas shaping today’s workplaces. Sign up here.

Why our work trips are starting to look like holidays The blurring of business travel and leisure — bleisure — is booming in an ‘always-on’ world.

Virtue at work is never its own reward: celebrate with a treat Whether it’s recording achievements, taking a bow or just having a biscuit, it helps to mark a job well done.

The new networking for a hybrid era Big real-life gatherings can seem daunting, and many people are rethinking how to re-establish professional connections

Help us compile our ranking of Europe’s Diversity Leaders. Employees and workplace experts are invited to complete a short survey to assess companies’ progress on inclusivity by June 12.

People in a meeting

Eligible businesses must employ at least 250 people and be based in one of 16 European countries © Getty Images

Quiz: Are you up to date with the news?

EU regulators have charged which Big Tech company with breaking competition law? Find the answer here and test yourself with 10 questions.

Must-read FT stories in the past week

CIA director says China ‘unsettled’ by Ukraine war Bill Burns tells FT conference that invasion may have affected Xi Jinping’s calculations over Taiwan.

Nasdaq closes down 5% in sharpest fall since 2020 Heavy stock and bond sell-off erases prior day’s gains as investors engage in ‘capitulation trade’.

How Rivian’s CEO became the anti-Elon The electric truckmaker’s RJ Scaringe isn’t using Musk’s playbook in his battle with Ford and Tesla.

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