Findings from GMAC™ snapshot survey of prospective students considering full-time MBA programs shows that candidate journeys are shifting in the context of pandemic-induced uncertainty. This suggests that a sustainable future of full-time MBA programs would require business schools to understand the nature and direction of evolving candidate journeys and engage the best-fit, diverse prospects for better enrollment yield.
Topics: Research Insights
GMAC’s annual Application Trends Survey of over 1,000 programs worldwide uncovered nuances in the demand for graduate management education and identified growth variations by regions, schools, and candidates. A combination of factors—including regional contexts, barriers faced by candidates, and strategies adopted by business schools— influenced the enrollment outcomes. Looking ahead, a survey snapshot of prospective students suggests business schools need to continue to innovate and adapt to the candidates’ shifting journeys.
How is the demand for MBA and business master’s programs shifting in the context of COVID-19? GMAC’s annual Application Trends Survey uncovered nuances of the global demand for graduate management education and identified growth variations by program locations and types. One of the key takeaways is that decision-making, for schools and candidates, in this pandemic-induced economic downturn is about hedging risk and managing uncertainty. The reconfiguration of the enrollment funnel in terms of a higher number of applications and a lower yield shows that the 2020 application season for business schools was unlike any other.
How are prospective international students considering MBA and business master’s programs for the 2021 application season responding to US elections' outcomes? A pre-election poll suggests that international candidates are more likely to study in the US if Biden is elected president. In addition to direct implications for the US, alternative destinations competing to attract global talent are also likely to experience the impact of this shift in preferences.
Canada has been a beneficiary of attracting global talent into its business management programs on the foundation of welcoming immigration policies and an expanding economy. According to GMAC’s Application Trends Survey, in 2017, seventy-five percent of the programs in Canada reported an increase in applications as compared to 41 percent in 2016—a clear indicator of a surge in demand for Canada after the US election. However, COVID-19 and the upcoming election in the US have the potential to reset the equation. Maintaining the momentum may require schools to double down on communicating the value of studying in Canada and delivering on the promise of positive experiences.
Topics: Research Insights
What is the impact of COVID-19 on skill demand, hiring projections, and salary trends for MBA and Business Master’s graduates? The GMAC™ annual report based on the survey of corporate recruiters suggests that although graduate management talent is not immune to the impact of the pandemic, employers remain confident about their skills. This confidence is noticeable in the hiring projections, which are likely to rebound in 2021 and median salaries, which are holding at $105,000 for MBA graduates.
Topics: Research Insights
How important is the inclusion of social justice in graduate management education? According to a recent survey snapshot conducted by GMAC, nearly two-thirds of prospective business school students agree that the social justice curriculum is Very important or extremely important. The findings suggest that the role of business schools in shaping future leaders who are motivated and prepared to create a more just society is more critical than ever.
European business schools have been a beneficiary of higher education reforms and the increasing pace of globalization. GMAT test-taker data shows sustained growth in the proportion of candidates considering pursuing graduate management education (GME) in Europe. As the impact of COVID-19 intensifies, how are prospective students adapting their choices, and what could be the implications for the communication strategies of European business schools?
Thanks to participating schools, the GMAC 2020 Corporate Recruiters Survey (CRS) received responses from over 700 employers by mid-March. In the wake of COVID-19, GMAC is launching a follow-up survey in June to get a better picture of the hiring landscape for business school graduates. If your school did not participate in the February/March survey, the June opportunity is your chance to gain insights into the hiring and salary projections for the class of 2020, as well as the skills employers will be looking for in GME talent post-COVID.
As business schools adapt to the evolving impact of COVID-19, they remain focused on the diverse needs of their prospective students. The latest GMAC™ snapshot survey examines the shifting behavior of female candidates in response to the uncertainty posed by COVID-19. Findings suggest business schools need to double-down in engaging and communicating with female candidates to meet enrollment goals.