Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, has a dire forecast for business education, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years—or five,” he says.
The threat, says Lyons, is that more top MBA programs will start to offer degrees online. That will imperil the industry’s business model. For most business schools, students pursuing part-time and executive MBAs generate crucial revenue. Those programs, geared toward working professionals, will soon have to compete with elite online alternatives for the same population.
Lower-ranked business schools, rather than recognized names such as Harvard Business School and Wharton, are most vulnerable to this phenomenon. When the big players start offering online degrees, they’ll draw far-flung students who might otherwise have opted for the convenience of a part-time program close to home.