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What is an MBA?: Misconceptions

#MBA #International #certification #Misconceptions

When asking the question “What is an MBA?,” many people think, “What constitutes an MBA?” It’s a popular misconception, but the degree conferred by studying business administration through a master’s course at a Japanese university certified by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is not an MBA. The closest MEXT-certified degree is in Japanese, titled a “Shuushi (Keieigaku)”—or, directly translated to English, a “Master’s Degree in Management.” No degree named “MBA” exists. Therefore, strictly speaking, unless a third party (officially) certifies a curriculum as an “MBA” curriculum, it can be labeled only as a “self-proclaimed MBA.”

A similar question is: “What is a business school?”. Many people have seen advertisements for educational institutions with “…School of Business” in their names. Often, however, these institutions are technical schools that will not award an MBA upon graduation. The names of Japanese vocational schools often end with “…School of Business” when translated into English. Could this be what differentiates vocational schools from graduate schools for Anglophones?

From a more global viewpoint, there are countries that have no national certification bodies like MEXT to accredit educational institutions. In France, for example, many companies operate their own schools. Frankly, given frequent mergers and acquisitions, without the certification of an internationally-recognized third party, it cannot be determined whether the programs from these institutions constitute a graduate-level management MBA education.