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Specialized MBA Education Takes on in China

An MBA degree may be enough to attract Chinese employers looking for the brightest talents. But potential bosses may ask one more question: "have you taken any specialized MBA courses?"
"Professional MBA education has become a trend in China's MBA education," said Tong Yunheng, president assistant of the training college of the Beijing-based Renmin University of China.
Some students who take general management courses fail to apply what they have learnt in actual work, said Wang Qiang, general manager of the Beijing Xunda International Trading Company.
"The point is business schools mainly focus on general MBA education without a strong professional basis," he said.
People's University has recently started an IT-MBA training course. It also provides MBA courses focusing on sectors such real estate, medicare and telecommunication. Many other universities with MBA education have also started courses with different majors to make the education more career-specific.
Some economically developed countries have begun to rank their business schools according to different categories of MBA education these schools offer. This shows clearly that more vocation-focused education has become an international trend, Tong said.
Despite the trend, most Chinese business schools still offer general business management courses to students in the first year and a half of study before teaching them more professional knowledge in the remaining half year.
"MBA education can help students know general management knowledge, but is half a year enough for going deeper into the professional field?" Wang said.
But, many people who choose to take MBA courses have no clear vision about their future career or they do not want to decide so early, which decreases the popularity of professional MBA courses, Tong said.
"If MBA training courses only have limited majors, the number of students that they can attract may be small."
Moreover, expensive tuition has also hindered the development of specialized MBA education.
The general MBA training course of the People's University requires 15,000 yuan (US$1,807), but the number rise to 25,000 yuan (US$3,012) if it is designed for medicare sector.
A financial MBA training program co-sponsored by the Tsinghua University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong was once dubbed "China's most expensive MBA course," which required 128,000 yuan (US$15,421) for enrollment.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2005)


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