GMAT News: Prospective Students Survey

The old adage goes, ‘Knowledge is power.’ Albert Einstein once said that “Information is not knowledge.” With the right contextualization, however, information can be knowledge, which can lead to power. The latest Prospective Students Survey Report from GMAC contains both a wealth of information and the context with which to empower it.

This report reveals valuable demographic trends in the world of GME (Graduate Management Education). Data indicates that while men comprise the majority of those interested in full-time 1- or 2-year MBA programs, women make up the majority of those interested in most non-MBA Master’s Programs, including Management and Accounting. Additionally, data shows that women interested in non-MBA Master’s degrees are applying at a younger age than their MBA counterparts, with 71% of female applicants to non-MBA Master’s programs aged younger than 25.

The Prospective Students Survey also confirms recent data from GMAC that speaks to the international dynamics in graduate management education. The number of GMAT tests taken outside the United States (which speaks directly to the number of prospective candidates originating outside the U.S.), continues to increase, and a significant portion of those increases are being affected by women. For example, Chinese women now account for a full 33% of tests submitted to non-MBA master’s programs by women.

On big conclusion to be drawn about these trends is that, given the increasing influx of potential candidates from abroad, there will likely be increased competition for spots in U.S. graduate management programs for U.S. citizens. Conversely, on a more positive note, U.S. candidates will have increasingly better options should they choose to go abroad for their degree as they will be in greater demand.

If you’re still researching graduate management programs, these numbers, and the trends they speak to, could help you better plan your route to graduate school, and ultimately the job of your dreams. There are two things, in particular, that you would want to consider with information like that contained in the Prospective Students Survey:

1) Think Outside the (MBA) Box – The data above, as well as other recent GMAC data, indicates that non-MBA specialized master’s degrees are becoming increasingly popular, and may have advantages over MBA programs. A non-MBA specialized master’s degree may be a better fit for you and your career goals. The trends also indicate that there may be growing opportunities to utilize the value of a non-MBA degree. When the time comes to make your graduate management education decisions, give some thought to programs beyond the MBA box to ensure you’re getting the best value and opportunities for your education dollar and your situation.

2) Use the Trends to Your Advantage – When making a decision about which schools to apply to, and ultimately attend, you may benefit from allowing recent application trends to help guide your decision. If there is increasing demand for U.S. candidates at schools abroad, for example, and you are in an industry that is increasingly global, a foreign graduate degree may offer more advantages, not to mention the potential to get scholarships to offset the cost. Regardless of your desired school or industry, knowing the trends may help you make better decisions and time your decisions more effectively.

To read a synopsis of the demographic data, click here.

To read GMAC’s complete Prospective Students Survey Report, click here.


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