A data driven year in 2012

So the end of the world didn’t happen.  Someone misunderstood or misinterpreted the data when it came to understanding Mayan prophecies, but 2012 has been dominated by data.

Forgive the national pride, but much of the data was about sporting triumph in the UK.  The magnificent Olympic and Paralympic teams, Bradley Wiggins becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France in 100 years, the English cricket team winning a Test series in India for the first time in more than 20 years or the rugby team beating the All Blacks at Twickenham.

However, some of the most interesting and amusing data appeared at the end of the year on the BBC website.  Two separate stories stood out, one related to business education and one not.  The story outside business education focused on the cost of all US elections in 2012, which was widely criticised at an estimated $6 billion.  Yet when it is compared to annual US spending on potato chips ($7 billion) or Halloween ($8 billion) doesn't seem quite so unreasonable.

The second story was about the number of first time house buyers in the UK market in 2012.  Numbers have risen to a 5 year high, but at the same time the average age of a first time buyer has gone up to 30.  The year before last MBA enrolments in the UK fell by 4% and 86% of full-time MBA students in the UK are now from overseas.  With the cheapest MBA program starting at around £15,000 and running up to £50,000, perhaps saving for a house deposit has become more important than paying for an MBA, hence a decline in applications. The average deposit needed by first-time buyers in the UK in 2012 was £27,984.

Despite the data I suspect the end of the MBA won’t happen in 2013.  Although gloom may continue in many parts, the MBA is here to stay.  But it might begin to look different by the end of 2013.

The new Tomorrow’s MBA report will be published in January 2013 with details of our latest review of what prospective MBAs want from their studies and their business school.  Without giving too much away, one of the big themes will be diversity.  Diversity of provision, of how people study, of course content, of how people pay, of pretty much every aspect of the MBA.

Understanding the business education market will become ever more important and CarringtonCrisp will launch two exciting new studies to help business schools better get to grips with what the future holds.

Roll on 2013.

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