Executive development proves popular during economic downturn


Aston Business School in Birmingham is experiencing a significant growth in its executive development programmes, with nearly 50 per cent more applications than this time last year.

Aston’s Masters in Business Administration programme (MBA) has so far seen 113 applications for its September 2009 entry courses compared to 65 at this time last year. Aston Business School has also chosen this time to launch its Aston Executive DBA Programme The Docorate of Business Administration ( or DBA) is a professional research degree that combines study with work.

Dr Naomi Brookes, Director of the DBA, believes that despite the global recession, now is the time to invest in executive development: “Business Schools worldwide are undoubtedly seeing a counter-cyclical effect in the current economic downturn and I’m predicting an even stronger year of applications for 2009. It is proven over the years that executive development programmes become much more important to senior managers in difficult times”.

The latest statistics released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) highlights that worldwide, 77 per cent of business schools registered an increase in applications to MBA programmes for 2008 entry, compared to 2007 - the highest increase in five years.

“Prospective students, including many senior business executives, are increasingly deciding that a period of development is a good option in an increasingly turbulent economic market. Approaches like the DBA can really make knowledge work for individuals and organisations in difficult times,” said Dr Brookes.

The Doctorate in Business Administration programme (DBA) is an elite programme attracting very senior managers who wish to combine innovation with the ‘day job.’. Aston’s own Executive DBA is one of only five programmes worldwide to be accredited by the Association of MBAs, an independent authority which sets rigorous standards for postgraduate business education.

Dr Brookes, said, “The flexible, distance-learning nature of Aston’s Executive DBA, allow senior executives to combine a busy work schedule alongside study. It’s designed to give managers a fresh business perspective and an essential mix of theory and practice that is needed to make real and lasting improvements in organisations.”

Commander Mike Young, who is in charge of Continuous Improvement for the Royal Navy undertook a DBA to improve the way the Navy recruited and developed leaders. Speaking at the launch event for the Aston Executive DBA , he outlined how his own DBA has formed the foundation to revolutionise Royal Navy leadership training. His work has been rewarded with both a promotion and an MBE.

“The DBA can undoubtedly have a dramatic effect on the lives of its graduates. It’s a qualification that will serve you as a practical and theoretical management guide for the benefit of your own career and your organisation,” said Commander Young.

For further information on DBA and MBA courses at Aston, log onto www.aston.ac.uk/abs or contact the Aston Business School on 0121 204 3000

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