In the past few years, business schools have been developing new, "early" MBA programs for younger students. On average, an MBA student has more than five years of work experience under his belt—in these new programs, he can have as few as zero or a whopping two. The general idea behind developing these programs was to increase the diversity of the student body; in particular, female students who might feel that the traditional MBA timeline doesn't fit with their family or career plans. These early programs are also designed to encourage students from non-business academic backgrounds to consider an MBA--it's much easier to recruit an English major directly from college than to lure him away from an editorial career later on.
Then the economy stepped in. More undergrads are considering business school as an immediate post-graduation options than before. According to a recent GMAC survey, 8 percent more kids under age 25 took the GMAT in 2007-2008 than 2003-2004 and 10 percent more 2008 undergrads are saying they want to go to business school right after graduation than they did three years ago. BusinessWeek published an article yesterday that summed up the thoughts of the "impatient generation" in the words of one 2009 graduate, Sergey Zinger: "The opportunities I'd have graduating straight from undergraduate just weren't of the caliber that I really wanted ... I knew I'd eventually want an MBA, so I figured why not do it now?"
In other words, laid-off analysts aren't the only ones using an MBA as a back-up plan to wait out the Recession. Across the country, law schools and grad schools say "Welcome to the back-up club, B-school!"
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