Written by Alyssa Walker

The MBA isn't dead. It's reinventing itself in Asia, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

In a recent article in BusinessBecause, GMAC CEO Sangeet Chowfla explained, "The demise of the MBA is exaggerated. It’s not dead, it’s just relocated to Asia.”

According to the latest data, the GMAC Application Trends Survey Report shows a 10.5 percent decrease in international applicants to the USA, but schools in the Asia-Pacific saw growth.

Where, specifically? Hong Kong.

This month, Hong Kong opened the new West Kowloon station which connects the city to China's mainland in about 25 minutes. Next month, the world's longest sea bridge will connect the area to Macau and Zhuhai in China.

What does all of that mean? According to BusinessBecause, it's hyperconnectivity.  Hong Kong will be an ultra-connected high-tech area that rivals Silicon Valley.

So it is no wonder that MBAs are shifting their focus to Hong Kong.

BusinessBecause interviewed Stephanie Villemagne, associate dean of graduate programs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School, who said these changes altered the business landscape for the better.

She said, "We [have connections] in traditional industries -- finance, accounting, the hardcore consultancies -- and this is still something that graduates go into, but we’ve [also] seen a shift towards technology."

Villemagne added, "Big tech companies and smaller ones, boutique consultancies in tech and fintech—there’s a really big boost for young graduates to start in finance via the startups that are disrupting the big banks."

The new changes are great for international students, too. She said, "What I think is great is that they get this understanding of Chinese culture, but also an understanding of what it is like outside and bringing that into China—which is really what the next stage of China is." 

Villemagne explained, "We prepare [students] with soft skills, communication style -- how do you approach a Chinese employer? How do you use the alumni network? It’s really about utilizing this network to your best interest."

Learn more about earning an MBA in Asia.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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