AMBA gathered opinion from 24 leading multi-national companies including KPMG and Goldman Sachs, and career managers from 22 business schools, at its annual Employers Forum last week.
The association found that MBA graduates from online programs, which have risen in popularity, are not of the same calibre as graduates of traditional programs.
In a statement, AMBA said: “Recruiters still do not consider job seekers from online business programs to be of the same calibre as those that have graduated from a face-to-face MBA program.”
The findings will do little to assuage fears associated with online MBA programs and Moocs – massive open online courses – that they lack sufficient networking opportunities, and are under-valued by MBA recruiters.
A discussion between recruiters and career managers at the Employers Forum, held at Imperial College Business School, found that “corporate recruiters are still immensely reluctant to consider MBA graduates from online business programs”, even though there has been a huge rise in schools flipping their MBA programs online.
Top-ranking European institutions including Imperial, IE Business School and Warwick Business School run successful versions of their MBA programs online, while a cadre of US schools have followed suit. Many more schools are expected to launch online-based degree programs this year.
Some commentators expect blended learning to eventually replace class-room based learning – yet online degrees are not gaining traction with recruiters, according to AMBA.
The association also found that employers seek graduate hires with sector-specific specialist MBA degrees, while soft skills such as oral and written communication have become increasingly important to recruiters.