MBA datapoint of the day, Harvard edition

By Felix Salmon
July 15, 2009

This year’s class size at Harvard Business School — 942 students — is a new record, up from 900 last year. Most of HBS’s costs are fixed, of course, so a marginal increase in enrollment is likely to drop straight to the bottom line — something Harvard’s in desperate need of these days.

The value of the Harvard brand doesn’t seem to have diminished — I doubt it had too much difficulty scaring up those 942 students — and similarly I doubt that a 5% increase in class size will have any effect on the market value of a Harvard MBA. But there’s no doubt that value has gone down substantially over the past year or two, especially given that Harvard’s MBA is one of the more finance-heavy courses out there.

The pendulum’s swinging back: senior managers will need to manage more, while doing much less in the way of financial engineering. I wonder whether and how that fact is going to be reflected in the Harvard curriculum


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Harvard’s MBA is one of the more finance-heavy courses out there

This is not true. HBS’ main focus is on the general manager toolkit, balancing strategy, operations, and finance.

Only one datapoint but US News and World Report’s rankings on B-schools with the best “finance” specialty. Harvard is 9th, below most other elite business schools such as Wharton, Stanford, Chicago, and Sloan.

Posted by right | Report as abusive

The real index is the value of a University of Chicago MBA, which is even more finance-focused than Harvard.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive