NYU One-Year Tech MBA Stern: 55% Women, 100% Employment – Poets&Quants | Team Cansler

Jeff Spielberg (MBA ’19) spoke with Professor Melissa Schilling at IBM Watson West in San Francisco after her classes, which she taught on-site. A first-class graduate of the Tech MBA, Spielberg was also recently the first dropout from the program when his startup was acquired.

As Jeff Spielberg reflected on his pivot, he identified two factors as key to deciding whether he should go back to school. Speed ​​was the first.

“I didn’t want to take a two-year hiatus from my career, but I wanted enough time to step back and really think through and examine this pivot,” says Spielberg, a 2019 graduate of the very first cohort of NYU Stern School of Business‘ Andre Koo Tech MBA for one year.

“The second thing was finding a program that was distinctly different from what I had been doing before. I had never taken a course in corporate finance, accounting, or marketing. This program ticked those boxes.”

Jeff Spielberg, Tech MBA ’19

In 2012, Spielberg, 35, an engineer with a background in healthcare, co-founded River Loop with friends from his undergraduate alma mater, Dartmouth College. The company sought to solve cybersecurity issues down to the circuit board level of device hardware for things like industrial systems, medical devices, and the Internet of Things. When River Loop began attracting household names—a mix of large corporations and government agencies, including DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)—Spielberg wanted to focus his full attention on his growing business. But he recognized that there were gaps in his business education and industry presence.

“Coincidentally, my wife, who is a Stern graduate, saw an advertisement for a new Tech MBA at just the right time. Ultimately, I used it as a linchpin from a career in healthcare product development to running my own business,” he says Poets & Quanta.

On April 1, when Two Six Technologies acquired River Loop for an undisclosed amount, it marked the first exit for an NYU Tech MBA graduate.

FOR STERN, A NEW KIND OF MBA

In 2018, Stern launched two brand new, one-year specialty MBA programs: his Andre Koo Tech MBA and his Fashion & Luxury MBA.

The Tech MBA was almost in a class of its own. Cornell University’s Johnson College of Business had launched its own year Tech MBA in New York City a year earlier, but otherwise many specialty MBAs in the US mirrored the two-year formats of their schools.

The emergence came as Stern was thinking more broadly about the future of business college education and how NYU could differentiate itself in the marketplace, says JP Eggers, vice dean of MBA programs and academic director of the Tech MBA. While the one-year MBA model has spread across Asia and Europe, it hasn’t picked up nearly as much traction in the United States. (Cornell recently published the cLoss of his once industry-leading Accelerated MBA due to declining registrations.)

“There was a combination of concerns about broad affordability for an MBA, and one of the best ways to make it more affordable is to reduce the time and opportunity cost to students,” Eggers tells P&Q. “We wanted to target areas where the internship wasn’t seen as important, but where we as a star had great relationships to build experiential learning and exposure that would complement the lack of a traditional internship.”

Andre Koo Tech MBA students from NYU Stern during their 2019 West Coast residency at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, just outside of Seattle.

The estimated total cost of the one-year Tech MBA is $159,733 for the 2023 class, compared to $244,828 for the full-time program. That doesn’t include the opportunity costs students incur when they’re not working—one year off for Tech MBA students and two years off for full-time students.

At the rate at which technology is changing, two years without a job can be particularly costly. At the same time, industry feedback in Stern’s market research indicated that companies wanted more employees with a broader range of managerial and technical skills. While large corporations and technology companies used to have many highly specialized professionals in business or technology, they had few people who could bridge the gap between the two. Companies have reversed this calculation. Now they want more people who can speak both languages.

“In validating the market, the most important feedback from the industry was that companies have these really great MBAs who can sell and make a profit, and they have these really great engineers who can code but can’t talk to each other,” says Bryan Ramos , Associate Dean of Experiential & Global Education at Stern. “The Product Market Fit of this Tech MBA was really about teaching graduates how to do both.”

55% WOMEN, 100% EMPLOYMENT

While gender parity remains an elusive goal for most MBA programs, here’s one MBA that has enrolled more women than men — and no less in technology. For the class of 2023, Stern’s Tech MBA is 55% female, versus the 42% who were enrolled for the inaugural class.

It has now achieved 100% employment for 2 out of 3 of its graduating classes. Due to the highly experiential nature of the program, the third cohort, scheduled to begin in May 2020, was pushed back to a January 2021 start date during the pandemic. The employment figures in the table below show combined totals for the January 22 and May 22 cohorts as they went through the same recruitment cycle.

Average base salaries have increased from $129,458 to $152,601 over the first five years of the program, while average bonuses have increased from $26,345 to $43,712.

The number of applications has increased from 182 for the inaugural class in 2019 to 407 for 2023. The number of registrations rose from 33 to 47 in the same period. (See Class Profile Comparisons below.)

At Stern, the typical scaling number for an MBA cohort is around 60 students. The Tech MBA cohort is more practical with two blocks of 25 to 30 students due to its intensive classroom and experiential format.

“I think we’re going to sit with this two-block model until we figure out if and if we want to try and scale it to about 80 students,” says Eggers. “We have found with certainty that the demand for applications remains high. To be honest, I don’t know if this is the right next step or if we’re going to continue with this small, high-quality, very elite program.”

NEXT PAGE: A look at NYU Stern + A Woman in Tech’s Tech MBA experiential learning

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