MBA datapoint of the day, Harvard edition

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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