Cornell Johnson | Mr. Government Consultant
GMAT 600, GPA 3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Ms. PMP To MBA
GMAT 710, GPA 3.72
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Mr. Renewable Energy Investing
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBTQ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58
Duke Fuqua | Mr. 2020
GMAT 630, GPA 3.92
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Versatility
GMAT 680, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Hustler
GMAT 760, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Mr. M7 Aspirant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.79 / 4.00
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Journalist
GMAT 690, GPA 2.8
Tepper | Mr. Family Biz
GRE 329, GPA 3.46
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
Stanford GSB | Ms. Aspiring Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8 (Highest Honor)
Harvard | Mr. Amazon Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Economics
GRE 330, GPA 9.68/10 ~ 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Test Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.74
Kellogg | Mr. Andrew
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Masters To MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
NYU Stern | Mr. Bioinformatics
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Columbia | Mr. CPA
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5

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.

PROGRAM TYPES CONSIDERED BY PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS, BY SURVEY YEAR

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.

TOP 12 MOTIVATIONS FOR PURSUING A GRADUATE BUSINESS EDUCATION

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.