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A professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business teaches mostly online students last March © Jessica Christian/Getty Images It was the best of times for masters degrees in business, and the worst of times for the business of executive education. After several years of stagnating demand, coronavirus pushed more graduating students to stay on for additional diploma courses last year and motivated many already in employment to return to university for further study.
But the pandemic triggered a meltdown in shorter, non-degree programmes for middle and senior managers around the world, as employers cut spending and staff shifted their priorities to adapt to the changes forced on them by illness, lockdowns and closures.
As a result, the annual global executive education market — estimated at $2bn in 2019 — fell by a third in the year to June 2020. Even many of the leading business schools experienced a drop in revenues of between a third and a half, and most were stretched as they sought to adapt their programmes at short notice with a switch from in-person to online learning. But schools demonstrated considerable innovation, moving teaching online, using digital technology to connect a broader variety of participants with more external […]