Earning your Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree typically means a huge boost to your career advancement and salary potential. But graduate-level credentials can be time consuming and expensive, so you want to make sure that the one you choose is worth the time and money you’re investing in it.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits business schools through a rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review process. In combination with regional accreditation for the business school’s college or university, it represents a guarantee of quality and high educational standards. Earning your MBA from an AACSB-accredited school means you are far more likely to acquire the business skills you need, and also that employers will recognize its value.
Here are four questions frequently asked about AACSB accreditation and their answers:
1. What is AASCB accreditation? According to the AACSB website, “AACSB Accreditation Standards are used as the basis to evaluate a business school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas. AACSB accreditation ensures students and parents that the business school is providing a top-quality education. It also ensures employers that AACSB-accredited business school graduates are ready to perform on day one.”
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AACSB accreditation is completely voluntary; business schools are not required to hold it in order to operate. However, those that do are generally receive a much greater degree of trust from both students and employers. AACSB-accredited schools are the gold standard in business education.
2. Why is AASCB accreditation important? Just as regional accreditation assures you that your college or university adheres to the standards set by the U.S. Department of Education, AACSB accreditation certifies that your business school follows similarly exacting guidelines. This means that you will be taught a complete and relevant skill set with practical applications to the business world; what you learn in school you can put into action on the job.
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AACSB accreditation is also important when it comes to looking for work. Most prospective employers will check to see where you earned your MBA before offering you a management or executive position. If your business school holds AACSB accreditation, they will know you have not only the degree to hang on your wall, but also the critical workplace skills that come with it.
3. What MBA specialties are available at AACSB-accredited business schools? There were 28 different MBA concentrations reported by AACSB-accredited business schools in the 2009-2010 academic year. Specifically, they are: Accounting, Business Communications, Business Education, Business Ethics, Business Law, CIS/MIS, E-Business, Economics, Entrepreneurship/SBA, Finance, General Business, Health Services/Administration, Hospitality/Tourism, HRM, Insurance, International Business, Management, Marketing, Operations Research, Organizational Behavior, Production/OM, Public Administration, Quantitative Methods, Real Estate, Statistics, Strategic Management, Supply Chains/Logistics and Taxation.
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General business was the most popular, with 68.1% of AACSB-accredited schools offering the specialty. Management came in second at 34.5% and finance third at 23%. The most uncommon concentrations were business education at 0.5%, business communications at 0.3% and statistics at 0.2%.
4. Where can I find AACSB-accredited programs? U.S. News University Directory maintains a listing of AACSB-accredited business schools and online MBA programs. Brought to you by U.S. News & World Report, the trusted authority on college and university rankings, this and many other educational resources are available 24/7 anywhere you have an Internet connection.