The curriculum of an MBA course covers all functional management functions, in particular accounting, financial management, marketing, sales, production management, information technology, business law and human resources management. Furthermore, micro- and macroeconomics, strategic management and scientific methodology will be taught. An MBA program is expected to teach not only knowledge and methodical skills, but also train leadership, entrepreneurial thinking, negotiation skills and communication skills.
The international study Tomorrow’s MBA (November / December 2010) shows some recent trends: for many years the focus of many MBA students was in the financial, banking and business consulting sectors. These preferences seem to have moved. The company is now one of the five most important topics for MBA students. The other four key topics are strategic management, leadership, leadership and organization.
Only in North America, more than 50 percent of respondents say that they want to complete a traditional two-year MBA program. The desire to work and study more closely is demonstrated by the sample.
In addition to the generalist MBA programs, which are mostly designed for corporate managers, programs with specializations have also established themselves in individual management disciplines (eg controlling & finance, sustainability management, etc.). These programs are aimed at people who are more likely to have an expert as a management function. In addition, there are also those for company founders and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Programs which are not carried out as postgraduate studies for applicants with professional experience but as a continuation of undergraduate studies (the so-called “Junior MBA”) do not correspond to the recommendations of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), an accreditation organization for business- Schools, which recommends other degrees of qualification as an MBA.
Teaching methods and examination services
The strong emphasis on project teaching and group work as well as the use of case studies is characteristic of MBA programs. As is customary in the Master’s degree programs, a master’s thesis must be written at the end of the study and defended in an oral final examination.
The study time of a full-time study is between one and two years, which corresponds to 60 to 120 ECTS points, whereby 60 ECTS programs are only suitable for graduates with a diploma after a transitional period, since 60 ECTS in the Rule is not sufficient. Due to the characteristic demand from the professional academies, the study is offered mainly by means of part-time studies or distance learning with attendance events, some of which are connected with a stay abroad. In this form it can take up to three years.
MBA programs are considered as continuing education programs and are therefore generally funded by study fees. Depending on the provider, the fees in the German-speaking countries vary between € 1,000 and € 60,000 for the entire student period. The average value in Germany is about 17,000 euros. In other countries, much higher study fees are still common among renowned universities. For example, Harvard states on his side that the full-time MBA program costs approximately $ 44,000 a year (2008). The study fees in Switzerland are clearly above average. The well-known International Institute for Management Development requires study fees of more than 100,000 Swiss francs. Leading state and private providers, the University of St. Gallen, the Lorange Institute of Business of Peter Lorange or the University of Zurich calculate for their Executive MBA programs between 60,000 and 70,000 Swiss francs.