Country Profile: Germany, the reluctant MBA student

In Germany, academia rules. That's why a large majority of board members across Germany sport titles such as doctor or professor (or both), as well as impressive-looking acronyms.

by World Business

MBA, however, has rarely been one of these. Law and engineering have historically been the norm in corporate circles, with doctorates (PhDs) high on the list of most desirable qualifications. Anglo-Saxon degrees (BA, MBA, etc), on the other hand, have been sniffed at for lack of academic rigour and don't fit the usual career path from trainee scheme to top of the corporate ladder.

But Germany is in the midst of an educational revolution. Following the Bologna process (see below), its entire education system is about to change.

The old five-year diplom will be replaced by a bachelor's degree plus master system. This shift could potentially make space for MBAs, but there are difficulties. First, since the MBA was not part of the German curriculum, few business schools offered the degree until five or six years ago; they are therefore new and their track record relatively unproven. Second, employers are still sceptical about the advantages an MBA offers their employees. Finally, MBA candidates already face a bewildering choice of business schools worldwide, some of them excellent, so why choose Germany?

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