Exclusive Study: Nearly Half Of MBA Employment Start Dates Delayed

About 70% of graduating 2020 MBA students have already accepted a full-time position. That’s the good news. But of those, nearly half (44%) report having their official start date delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, with delays ranging from a month to more than half a year.

That’s according to an exclusive survey of registered Poets&Quants readers that we conducted between May 4 and May 25. We collected nearly 500 responses from current and recently graduated business students to see how the coronavirus is impacting summer internships and full-time employment among MBA students.

For those with delayed start dates, the most common timeframe is a delay of one to three months, which was reported by 47.8% of respondents. The next highest percentage (17.9%) reported having their start dates delayed three to six months. Some 16.4% said their delayed start date was still “to be determined.” Another 13.4% say their start date has been delayed by one month or less. And about 4.5% say they’ll be starting more than six months later than their originally planned start date.

While the number of students reporting delayed start dates is troubling, just 6.9% report having full-time job offers rescinded altogether. However, a sizable percentage (40.2%) say they know someone personally at their business school who had their job offer rescinded.



Concern is high for graduating MBAs that have not yet accepted a job. Survey respondents were asked to rate their “level of concern” on a 1-to-5 scale about landing a job within three months of graduation if they hadn’t already accepted a position. Some 41.4% rated their concern level a 5, indicating that they are “extremely concerned” about landing a position within three months of graduation. Another 27.3% answered 4. Just 31.25% answered with a 1 (not concerned), 2, or 3. Take out the 14.8% that answered a 3, and only 16.4% of respondents are feeling little or no concern about locking in a job this summer.

Interestingly, 34.8% of respondents say they regret turning down a job offer. The remaining 65.2% say they don’t regret turning down a job offer. Those numbers may change should job hunting not go well this summer.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.