Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Non-profit
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Fintech Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.04
Yale | Ms. Business Start-Up
GRE 312, GPA 3.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Cornell Hopeful
GMAT Targeting 700+, GPA 2.5
INSEAD | Mr. Aerospace Manufacturer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Big Fish, Small Pond
GMAT 790, GPA 3.88
Said Business School | Ms. Ordinary Applicant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.37
Tuck | Mr. Crisis Line Counselor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Banking To Startup
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Engineer
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. M&A Post-Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. IB/PE To Fintech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.14
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Wharton | Mr. Master’s To MBA
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. First-Time MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.3
USC Marshall | Mr. Versatile Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
HEC Paris | Ms. Public Health
Chicago Booth | Mr. Music Into Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Top Salesman
GMAT 610, GPA 4.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Latino Insurance
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5 / 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Sailor in Suit
GMAT 740, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6

Slight Decline In MBA Program Interest

A slight weakening in interest for MBA programs is occurring among prospective business school students, reported the Graduate Management Admission Council today (March 13). Two-year, one-year full-time MBA and part-time MBA programs saw the largest declines, according to a the organization’s annual survey of prospective students. There were also slight declines in the percentage of respondents considering flexible MBA and executive MBA programs, while consideration of online/distance learning programs remained stable. Master-level programs in accounting and finance, on the other hand, experienced increased student interest.

The percentage of prospective students considering two-year, full-time MBA programs this past year fell to 42%, down five percentage points from 47% in 2009 and 46% in 2010, said GMAC. And the decline wasn’t made up by those interested in pursuing full-time one-year programs. Consideration of those shorter MBA fell to 38% this past year, down four percentage points from the 42% figure in both 2009 and 2010 (see table below). The waning interest in the MBA degree follows reports by many business schools last year of declines in application volume.


Yet, when it comes to deciding whether to pursue a business school degree, the most important motivation almost always has to do with getting and keeping a better paying job. The study found that three of the top four reasons why most people apply to business school is for increased job opportunities, higher salary potential, and to accelerate their career paths. The chance to develop business knowledge, skills and abilities came in third (in the table below, GMAC uses the acronym KSAs to describe it). Men and women equally shared the top four motivations shown below. More men, however, cited the development of leadership skills as their fifth highest motivator; while women cited the desire to remain marketable and competitive as their fifth highest motivational factor, GMAC said.


GMAC said that respondents of all ages shared the top three motivations shown above. Prospective students aged 30 and younger were more likely than older respondents to be motivated by a desire to accelerate their career path and develop leadership skills, whereas older respondents wished to remain marketable and competitive and obtain the credentials afforded by a graduate business education.

Prospective students varied more widely when citing motivating factors by undergraduate degree, however (see table on next page). Would-be students with science backgrounds were highly motivated by a desire to  develop their skill base and increase their forward momentum in their careers. Business majors saw graduate business education as a means to compete more effectively in the job market. Humanities  and social science majors were similar in that they desired to expand their potential career prospects.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.