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Not only students have reason to fear, MBA professors' future is shaky as well

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 2:44 p.m. MDT

MBA students from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and numerous others listen to a presentation in Salt Lake City in 2008. (Jeffrey D. Allred) MBA students from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and numerous others listen to a presentation in Salt Lake City in 2008. (Jeffrey D. Allred)

An oversaturated market is not only a fear for MBA students.

The schools themselves are in danger as the wild growth of MBA graduates exceeds the demand for students, according to an article by Harvard Business Review.

In the past 10 years, MBA degrees have grown by 74 percent, a strain that could make it difficult for business schools to stay in business. For students, this means the future is even more unknown, according to the article.

Financial institutions, which are major absorbers of MBAs, may cut back, making high starting salaries and sign-on bonuses rare. Those who are employed in business schools will have shakier standing.

“Just as astonished senior partners in law firms learned that when the economics don't work, neither does lifetime employment, so too will astonished tenured professors,” said Rita McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School. “If your school goes out of business, tenure doesn't mean much.”

However, this strain could cause new models for business schools. McGrath said she hopes this will be the long-term effect.

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