Demand for MBA Programs Increases
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 02:10
National demand for full-time MBA programs has begun to show signs of recovery for the first time since the beginning of the economic recession in 2009, while part-time programs are still losing popularity, a business school admissions survey announced last week.
Georgetown’s applicant pool for the part-time MBA program increased last year while the full-time applicant pool remained steady, leading to an overall increase in demand.
“I think, fairly obviously, perceptions of an improving economy have led people to be more willing to invest in their educations again,” Senior Associate Dean for MBA Programs Elaine Romanelli said. “With applications down across many schools, that suggests there is also some pent-up demand, that people that did not apply to business school or did not decide to make that investment during the recession are now back in the market, so it’s kind of a two-fold influence on an increase in applications.”
Full-time student Charles Shackelford (GRD ’15) agreed, although he said the economy was not the only factor in his decision to apply to the MBA program.
“My prior company was having difficulty winning as much work as usual, but I never felt worried for my job,” Shackelford said. “It’s more that I wanted to go in a different direction, so that’s the main reason I decided to come here.”
In spite of this apparent correlation between an improved economy and a rise in demand for MBA programs nationally, many students do not feel as if they directly considered the economy in their decisions to attend business school.
“You never know if there is a good time for overall economy. Just pick a good time for yourself, rather than looking around,” full-time student Fiona Ou (GRD ’15) said.
The increase in demand for MBA programs has directly increased the competition for acceptance to business school and jobs. For example, the average GMAT score for Georgetown’s full-time program in the last admissions cycle increased by five points from the previous year.
“This will mean more competition for applicants, which is a good thing for our program, as it means we will hopefully see stronger and more competitive applicants,” Associate Dean of MBA Admissions Shari Hubert said. “It also means that we’ll see more demand for our students from employers.”
Full-time student Miguel Cuunjieng (GRD ’15) agreed and said the added competition was visible, particularly among peers.
“It’s a little bit unnerving, and I can feel some of the effects here — it’s very high pressure and everybody is kind of clamoring around for internships and then full-time positions too,” Cuunjieng said. “It does add stress.”
Increased competition aside, Shackelford added that the increased demand for MBA programs could serve as a positive indicator of a recovering job market.
“I think it’s probably made it harder to get into school, but I think that because the job market is recovering, it’s a much better time to get a job now than it was four years ago or even two years ago,” Shackelford said. “I think, overall, the picture is looking better.”