Bloomberg: MBA programs push entrepreneurial skills employers don’t want

In a world where startups proliferate and entrepreneurship is worshiped, top business schools such as MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business and University of Virginia Darden School of Business, are trying to attract students by offering entrepreneur-focused programs. 

“We have labs, we have studios, we have accelerators and hackathons,” said Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, in a Bloomberg report. The center offers courses, programs, and resources that encourage students to start their own business.

According to data from the Bloomberg Best Business Schools Survey 2016, the best schools for entrepreneurs, based on the percentage of students who started a business soon after graduating, are: 

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg


But what about the students who want a more traditional career? What about those who prefer a established employer? Recruiters say the skills these entrepreneurship-driven schools emphasize (such as creativity, collaboration, storytelling) are the least desired by the bigger employers. 

That’s the finding from a survey conducted by Bloomberg of more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni and 9,000 recent graduates from MBAs.

“A lot of entrepreneurs don’t like to be told what to do,” says Derick Kurdy, who works for Johnson & Johnson. “They get bored easily and don’t always mesh well with corporate culture.”

Moreover, a huge finding of the report showed that most MBA graduates go to work for big companies and only 3% of recent graduates starts new businesses. Basically, the high costs of studying an MBA are to blame for this result. “It’s a really costly way to go start a business,” said Kurdy.

Only 3% of recent graduates starts new businesses.

But B-schools are not just launchpads for entrepreneurs and the “entrepreneurial spirit” is not exclusive for startups and tech companies. Skills like being creative, self-driven, resilient, and unafraid to take risks are useful and necessary in many industries.

“We’re not just preparing students for that first job out of B-school, we are preparing them for their second and third job, too,” said Michelle Hardy, director of MBA employer and alumni engagement at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.