Applications to U.S. MBA programs may be in a major slump, but that hasn’t dimmed the degree’s overall popularity. According to a new study of Google search trends by Olivet Nazarene University, a small private school in Illinois, the MBA is overwhelmingly the most commonly searched master’s degree — though results vary by state.
With a national monthly search volume of 149,210, interest in the MBA dwarfs the next-most-searched degree, the Master of Health Administration (27,100 monthly searches). The MHA is followed by the Master of Public Health (16,940 searches), Master of Education (13,070), Master of Social Work (12,500), and Master of Psychology (11,590). Last on the list of 17 degrees examined by Olivet was the Master of Architecture, searched monthly by 2,240 people.
Among the more interesting findings of Olivet’s study: Four of the top five most-searched degrees don’t even crack the top 25 for highest earning potential. Click here to learn more about the MBA’s ROI.
Among the states where the MBA is the top degree in Google searches: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and Colorado. The Master of Education is tops in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, while the Master of Engineering is popular in a broad swath of the Midwest and West, from Iowa to Wyoming to Alaska and Hawaii. The Master of Health Administration is most heavily searched in Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, among other places.
STATE-BY-STATE SEARCH RESULTS
Olivet started with a list of more than 150 master’s degree focuses catalogued in the Economic Value of College Majors, a 2015 study by Georgetown University. After a wide-ranging analysis of Google search trends over the period from July 2018 to July 2019, Olivet then narrowed that list to 17 degrees that had statistically significant national search volume — that is, more than 2,000 searches per month, on average.
The MBA, by far, is the most popular degree in the country. But Olivet also gathered state-level search volume data and compared percentages of overall search that each term represents, against national percentages.
See each state’s top search below, as well as each state’s search nos. 2 and 3.