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TopCoder Helps MBA Students Build Online Communities

TopCoder is working with faculty members at Harvard Business School to provide an environment where MBA students can build new online businesses, from idea generation through product development and final rollout.

In support of the School's new Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD) course, part of the required first-year MBA Program curriculum, TopCoder has created a virtual "factory" environment, in which student entrepreneurs will explore how to use professional communities and digital creatives to conceptualize, build, manage, and grow real digital products and businesses.

"We want our students – tomorrow's business leaders – to become comfortable managing and building products in a rapidly evolving world," noted Alan D. MacCormack, one of 10 faculty members at HBS responsible for the launch and design of FIELD. "The resources, immediacy, cost savings, and overall improvements in quality and process provided by the Internet are dramatically changing how organizations work at the most fundamental level.

The TopCoder Community was challenged to create a dedicated HBS portal within which student projects will run starting as early as this month. The platforms created by the TopCoder Community will be an integral part of the third module of HBS's FIELD course, which challenges more than 900 students - working in teams of six – to develop and launch a microbusiness in an accelerated time frame.

MBAs See Better Job Market

The job market for new holders of management education degrees has improved—and employers expect conditions to improve during the months ahead, according to the results of two Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) surveys.

The research shows that more business school graduates have been able to find jobs before finishing their studies this year compared with the class of 2010. Moreover, companies are increasingly turning their attention to growing their operations—and bringing on new employees—after years of riding out rough economic conditions, GMAC researchers found.

More than half (54 percent) of job-seeking respondents to GMAC’s 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey had at least one job offer at the time the research was conducted in March—weeks before graduation. By comparison, just 32 percent of respondents to the survey last year who were looking for employment had landed an offer.

Salaries are also on the rise. Graduates from two-year full-time MBA programs reported a 73 percent increase in their post-degree base salary compared with what they earned before beginning their studies, on average. This is an increase from the 64 percent average salary boost seen by their peers in the class of 2010.

More than two-thirds of respondents to GMAC’s 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey said they expect to hire new MBAs during the coming year, up from 62 percent in 2010 and 50 percent in 2009. New hires in the United States can expect to earn an average base salary of $91,433, up from $89,141 last year and $86,299 in 2009. 

GMAC is a global association of top business schools and owner of the GMAT exam, used by more than 5,000 graduate management programs around the world as a key part of the admissions process.

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