12 Years, 3,600 Grads: In Huge New Study, 9 In 10 Say They Are Happy With Their Graduate Business Degrees

In GMAC’s new study, men were more likely to go to B-school to develop entrepreneurship skills and own their own business than women

BUSINESS DEGREES LEAD TO PROMOTIONS & MOVEMENT ACROSS INDUSTRIES

A graduate business degree is good for your career — something GMAC exists to reinforce, but also has the data to back up. GMAC’s survey results confirmed that a business degree helped business school graduates move up the company ladder and pivot across job functions and industries: About two-thirds reported that they advanced at least one job level after obtaining their degrees, with advancement especially prevalent among those who started at more junior levels before completing their programs. More than 85% of graduates moved up from entry levels, more than half moved up from middle levels, one-third moved up from senior levels, and a quarter moved up from executive levels.

A notable motivation among the drivers for pursuing a business degree: About half aspired to change career paths in either job function or industry. The survey found that overall, 60% of business school graduates changed job functions after obtaining their degrees, while about half moved across industries. Consulting as a job function and industry demonstrated the most versatility: Over three-quarters of those who worked in consulting after obtaining their business degrees moved from a different job function, and 70% of those who worked in consulting post-degree moved from another industry. Contrariwise, the technology industry experiences the lowest amount of transition, with only one-third moving on to a different industry after completing their graduate business education.

But while the overall percentage of candidates who reported moving to higher job levels after completing a graduate business degree was similar by gender and region, one group saw a lower percentage of candidates move up in career ladders: under-represented minorities.

Source: GMAC

U.S. URMs SOUGHT DEGREES TO IMPACT COMMUNITIES, OWN BUSINESSES

Among the top 10 leading motivations driving the pursuit of graduate business education for the entire group of surveyed candidates, increasing impact on communities ranked last at just 24%. However, in the United States, the percentage of underrepresented minority (URM) candidates who sought graduate business education for that reason was 42% — nearly double that of non-URM candidates. The proportion of URM candidates who pursued a graduate business degree to develop entrepreneurship skills and own their own business was 48%, also significantly higher than that of non-URM candidates (32%).

This coincides with another key finding of the report: that compared with non-URM candidates, a lower percentage of URM candidates reported career advancements.

“In the backdrop of today’s global health and economic crisis, many career-minded individuals are shifting their perspectives, looking for social impact in their own communities and becoming their own boss to achieve financial freedom,” says Sabrina White, vice president of school and industry engagement at GMAC.

“Acknowledging these differences by race-ethnicity offers an opportunity for schools to engage in community partnerships that increase access to the benefits of graduate management education for the marginalized populations.”

More details of the full report are available on gmac.com, and a companion piece for graduate business candidates, with sample profiles of the graduates, has been published on mba.com.

DON’T MISS GMAT AVERAGES REBOUND BIG-TIME AT THE TOP 50 MBA PROGRAMS and GMAC: BUSINESS SCHOOL APPLICATION SURGE IS NOT A FAD

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