For the fourth year in a row, the number of applications to MBA programs across American has declined. In fact, MBA applications to U.S. universities have dropped by a margin of 7% since just last year. And it’s not like this decline in interest to pursue an MBA is only impacting the less selective MBA programs; Harvard Business School, The Wharton School, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business have all experienced declines as well. This year, HBS saw a 4.5% drop in applications, while Wharton saw a 6.7% decline, and Stanford GSB saw a 4.6% drop. The most elite American business schools have not found themselves to be immune to the declining interest of young people to pursue a master’s in business administration.
Declining Interesting in Pursuing MBA
As Grace Dobush reports for “Fortune” in a piece entitled “The MBA’s Decline Is Now Even Affecting Elite Business Schools,” “GMAC President Sangeet Chowfla told WSJ it’s possible business school applications are bottoming out as the U.S. economy approaches its peak, but they could rise again in the next recession. Specialized master’s programs are drawing away some applicants from traditional MBA programs, and business schools in Europe and Asia are also making for stiff competition. Applications rose by 8% for schools in Canada and 9% for schools in East and South Asia. Earlier this year GMAC reported that the proportion of businesses intending to hire MBA graduates this year dropped to 85% this year from 91% last year.”
At Ivy Coach, we haven’t noticed a discernible difference in the number of MBA candidates reaching out to us for assistance with their MBA applications this year as compared to prior years. But we have definitely noticed a surge in interest in specialized master’s programs, including accounting, financial engineering, and so forth, as Dobush reports. But in the weeks ahead, we’ll do some data mining to glean if indeed our figures support the trend of an overall decline in interest in pursuing MBA degrees. We suspect not but we’ll report back soon.
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