Net Impact’s Annual Publication Reveals Latest Trends in MBA Programs

Key findings suggest social/environmental issues are hitting critical mass in graduate programs
Sep 11, 2012 2:00 PM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media) San Francisco, CA - September 11, 2012 - Net Impact, a global nonprofit inspiring a new generation of leaders to put their values to work for a more sustainable future, released its 2012 edition of Business as UNusual: The Student Guide to Graduate Programs. Key findings confirm that the movement to make a positive, sustainable impact across sectors is hitting critical mass when it comes to MBA programming.

First published in 2006, Business as UNusual is the only publication of its kind that highlights over 100 business schools worldwide and provides students’ ratings of the programs’ integration of social and environmental themes into curriculum, career services, and student activities.

“With more than 3,000 student voices sharing their perspectives on their schools in this year’s Business as UNusual Guide, it’s clear that social and environmental issues have moved to the heart of MBA curricula around the globe,” says Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact.

This year’s guide suggests that for business students interested in social and environmental issues, it has never been a better time to get an MBA. A key finding suggests that the growing demand of social and environmental themes in graduate programs is reflected in students’ post-MBA job search: 77% of students agree that finding an impact job is a top priority for students at their program.

Major conclusions from Business as Unusual 2012 include:

-        Social and environmental themes enter core curriculum. Nearly half of MBA programs profiled have widespread integration of social and environmental themes in core classes. For example, the University of Maryland removed its flagship Corporate Responsibility course last year and instead included responsible business themes into 10% of all course content.

-        An MBA can broaden impact career paths. According to the survey, students consider a wider variety of sectors post-MBA than they did pre-MBA. Respondents went from primarily nonprofit and for-profit experience pre-MBA to a more diverse array of post-MBA career goals, including start-ups, mission-driven companies, and social enterprise.

-        Students are at the forefront of the movement to transform business education. Students have been instrumental in driving social and environmental topics into their programs’ curriculum, electives, and events. From coast to coast, there are case studies of student-led efforts shifting the scope of business programs towards impact issues like corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability.

“We’re proud to be part of the movement that has pushed social and environmental issues from the fringe to the mainstream of business education, inspiring a new generation of leaders to create a more just and sustainable future,” says Maw.

The 2012 Business as UNusual guide is available for free at

About Net Impact
Net Impact is the premier global nonprofit that supports a new generation of leaders to work within business and across sectors to create a more sustainable future. With more than 30,000 student and professional members and 300 chapters worldwide, Net Impact demonstrates that it’s possible to make a net impact that can transform individuals, their organizations, and the world. Visit