They are an unfazed bunch, those prospective MBAs. Poor economic conditions or no, they’re gonna go go go. There's no stopping them.
From a recent GMAC survey on prospective MBA students:
Although economic conditions appear to have an effect on GMAT exam volume in general, the economy had little effect on mba.com registrants’ desire to pursue a graduate business education. About half (51%) stated that economic conditions did not affect their likelihood to enroll in a graduate business program. About a third (36%) stated that economic conditions increased the likelihood of enrolling, and only 13 percent were dissuaded by an adverse economy. In fact, only 1 percent of respondents indicated they decided not to attend graduate business school, which is consistent with the long-term findings from mba.com registrants’ studies that GMAC has conducted since 2003, when the economy was emerging from the last recession.
History has shown that when the economy goes down, grad school applications go up. The conventional wisdom is to seek shelter until the storm passes, so that part of the survey’s results isn’t very surprising.
More interesting is the average prospective MBA (registered on mba.com) timeline for applying to business school.
The average MBA applicant timeline:
Completes first degree → 27 months → considers business school → 19 months → registers on mba.com → 4 months → takes GMAT → 1 month → submits first application
Average length of process, from consideration to application: 2 years
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