When it comes to an MBA education, the case study method is legendary.
Pioneered by Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1919 — which itself borrowed from Harvard Law School — the approach puts students in the shoes of corporate decision-makers justifying their business choices.
The method is so popular that the sale of these case studies racked up $260m+ in 2019, about ¼ of HBS’s total revenue.
The pandemic provides countless learning opportunities
According to the Wall Street Journal, prominent new HBS cases involve:
- Operation Warp Speed: Role-playing as Merck pharma execs, students must argue the trade-offs of taking government money.
- Crisis management: Acting as president of Princess Cruises, students debate how to stay mentally healthy.
- Booming business: A deep dive on managing Zoom’s explosive growth.
With HBS producing ~350 new cases a year, we can expect a lot more COVID-related themes.
Is an MBA still worth it?
This is what a lot of students are asking themselves.
Even before the pandemic, MBA applications for the top 10 schools were down 6% in 2019 (vs. 2018).
An 6-figure MBA via Zoom followed by a cold job market just isn’t as appealing, per the New York Times.
At the current pace, another HBS case study might be: “How the pandemic crushed MBA programs.”