How the Next Generation of MBAs Have Changed Business Schools and MBA Admissions

Posted by Graduate Management Admission Council on Mar 23, 2020 2:30:00 PM

Survey data gathered by the Graduate Management Admission Council™ showed that more than 1 in 3 employed professionals in the U.S. are between the ages of 23 and 39, and this generation’s representation in the workforce is still increasing. What does this mean for the positioning of your school’s value proposition?

GMAC™ research indicates these professionals are now more educated than past generations, and it is important for graduate management education institutions to understand their motivations, aspirations, and attitudes, and respond accordingly. Here’s a look at what makes this younger generation unique, and how business schools are engaging with them.

Using a graduate management education to switch jobs

Career aspirations are one of the most important motivators driving prospective students’ decision to invest in a b-school education, as highlighted by GMAC™ surveys. Over the past ten years, we have also found that the number of candidates who plan to stay with their current employer has decreased from 19 percent to 10 percent. What does this say about this generation?

It points to the fact that younger professionals are switching jobs more often than their older counterparts, as 75 percent of them believe that frequently changing jobs helps advance their careers. For schools looking to appeal to and attract this demographic, this is one important consideration to take into account. Programs and services designed to promote networking and building connections with leading companies can be especially appealing to this demographic, as they help to create opportunities for those looking to switch companies.

In addition, making the application process itself easy for working professionals can also help to attract the next generation. The Executive Assessment evaluation, for example, only requires modest preparation time, making it easier for working professionals to fit into their schedules.

Want to learn about other ways the Executive Assessment can benefit your institution? Find out how the Executive Assessment can help business schools maintain a strong reputation.

Demonstrating the ROI of your MBA program to the next generation

Our research shows that among the next generation, funding sources are most likely to include loans, personal savings, and scholarships. In fact, the typical financial resource distribution for those between the ages of 23 and 39 looks like the following: 18 percent from parents, 25 percent from scholarships, 22 percent from loans, 11 percent from personal earnings, and 13 percent from personal savings. In fact, just 8 percent involved financing from their company.

Due to this financial reality, many younger students want to feel sure about their investment, and want to see concrete evidence that their decision can lead to further opportunities. For this reason, statistics and figures that demonstrate the benefits of your MBA program can have a significant impact on younger applicants.

Increased interest in social impact

The younger generation also increasingly cares about responsible investment and sustainable business practices. Julie Papp, senior associate director of MIT Sloan’s MBA career education team, explains that “sustainability’s rising agenda on the MBA curriculum is being reflected in the jobs that are becoming more popular.” Papp goes on to say, “we’re seeing students with an international development background and want to come and strengthen their finance skills for a career in, say impact investing.”

Saunders-Cheatham, Cornell, also emphasizes this focus. Students are more concerned about what companies are doing and “they want to work for companies where they feel they are doing the right thing from a social impact perspective.”

Are you looking for ways to improve your MBA admissions process for the next generation?

Learn more about how the Executive Assessment can help!

Topics: executive assessment evaluation, MBA Program, MBA admissions

Recent Posts