RESTON, Va., Oct. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The total number of graduate business school applications fell from pandemic-level peaks, slipping 3.4% year-over-year among a matched sample of programs, according to a survey report released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). This comes after application volumes rose 2.4% YoY in 2020 at the start of the pandemic and maintained that level of demand in 2021, when schools reported a 0.4% YoY increase. . However, while the mobility effects of the pandemic have weakened this admissions cycle, international applications have seen a remarkable rebound, especially for those applying to programs in the United States. Most US programs reported an increase in international applications, particularly two-year full-time MBA programs (80% of programs) and STEM-designated programs (61%). Similarly in Europe, most MBA programs have seen stability or more applications from abroad this year.
The largest and most cited survey of its kind in the industry, GMAC 2022 Application Trends Survey was conducted between July and September with application figures submitted by 950 programs from 264 business schools in 33 countries around the world. The survey aims to examine the rapidly changing landscape of demand for graduate management education (GME) programs. An annual survey in its 24e year, the 2022 study perhaps reflects the end of the pandemic-disrupted years and offers insight into how the post-pandemic market might shape.
Notably, most programs in Europe and Asia have increased or maintained the representation of women in the applicant pools. The majority of responding programs in Europe (58%) and Asia (57%) increased or maintained the number of applications received from women. Additionally, more than half of U.S. programs maintained or increased applications from underrepresented populations (URPs), particularly the Masters in Data Analytics (66%) and Masters in Management (65%).
“I am very pleased to see that women in Europe and Asia, as well as underrepresented groups in the United States, are increasingly yearning to pursue business education that could empower and equip them to achieve their business goals. career,” said Joy Jones, CEO of GMAC. “I commend the business school community for the encouraging trend that has developed through their concerted efforts to attract a diverse pool of talent.”
Other main findings
Applications for Masters of Commerce programs surge, riding the wave of international interest
Global applications to Masters of Commerce programs, including Masters of Management, Masters of Finance and Masters of Data Analytics, increased 3.2% year-over-year. All types of master’s in business programs in the United States had a greater proportion of programs reporting increases in international applicants than decreases, with the exception of the master’s in accounting. International applications to US programs have increased in a particularly high proportion of specialized degrees, including the master’s in supply chain management (93%), the master’s in marketing (76%) and the master’s in data analysis (61 %).
“Masters of Commerce programs have traditionally attracted international applicants. As pandemic-induced restrictions gradually ease and people learn to live alongside and cope with the virus, we expect international mobility to continue to rebound,” said Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, dean and professor of finance at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon. University and GMAC board member.
Asia retained more talent in the region while Canada saw a reversal in application trends
Business schools in the Asia region have been able to attract otherwise mobile candidates during the pandemic. While roughly equal shares of responding Asian programs reported growth and decline in total application volume this year, those that experienced growth or stability saw it in both domestic applications (60% ) and international (63%). This trend is consistent with that of GMAC investigation of prospective students released earlier this year when data suggested that applicants from some traditionally mobile parts of Asia could increasingly choose to study in their country.
Canadian programs have experienced significant declines in the number of domestic and international requests. Among the Canadian programs that responded to each of the surveys over the past two years, the total number of applications fell 23% year-over-year, with 75% of programs reporting a decline in domestic applications and 68% in international. The reversal comes after years of consistently positive results for Canadian schools since 2017, coinciding with reduced visa availability in the United States.
Flexible MBA programs in the United States have gained ground despite declining domestic demand for professional MBA programs
This year, just over half of flexible MBA programs─ that allow their students to move from full-time to part-time status throughout their course─ experienced growth in application volume . Additionally, women accounted for 44% of flexible MBA applicants, which is higher than any other type of MBA program in the United States. At the same time, most professional MBA programs in the United States received fewer applications this year, including the online MBA (76% of programs), the part-time MBA (75%) and the executive MBA. (67%). In fact, online MBA programs in the United States have seen a second straight year of declining applications after a pandemic boom in 2020.
“With the job market hot and the big resignation reducing the total workforce, it is not surprising that the programs offering the most flexibility have been the most attractive to professionals, especially women,” said Maite Salazar. , Director of Marketing at GMAC.
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools around the world. GMAC offers world-class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools and assessments for the higher management education industry, as well as resources, events and services that help guide candidates throughout their career in higher education. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam is the most widely used assessment for graduate business schools.
Each year, more than 12 million prospective students trust GMAC websites, including mba.comto learn more about MBA and Masters of Business programs, connect with schools around the world, prepare for and register for exams, and get tips for successfully applying to MBA and Masters of Business programs. BusinessBecause and The MBA Tour are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
To learn more about our work, please visit www.gmac.com
Senior Manager, Media Relations