Interest in graduate management education programmes in 2021 continued to grow —a trend that coincided with waning concerns about the impact of Covid, according to a report published on Wednesday by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The survey showed 76% Indian respondents do not plan to change their original plans due to the pandemic.
Globally, a third of international MBA aspirants (73%) are not likely to change their plans in favour of an alternative such as online learning or a business school closer home than those keen on a business master’s (68%). Only one in eight (13%) candidates who wish to fly out for an MBA is willing to consider online learning compared with one in three (30%) domestic candidates. Specifically, 41% of international candidates who plan to pursue a business master’s programme report they are very or extremely concerned about the impact of Covid-19 compared with 27% domestic candidates.
Domestic candidates report more willingness to consider alternatives such as staying closer to home or adopting online learning. Domestic candidates for MBA (28%) and business master’s (30%) programmes indicated they are more willing to consider a business school closer home to pursue their degree in 2021. “In sum, the pandemic is compelling some candidates to consider alternatives; however, they are not giving up on their career aspirations for pursuing GME in 2021,” noted the GMAC report.
“As vaccines become increasingly available, prospective students around the world are seeing light at the end of the tunnel regarding the global pandemic,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “It is especially encouraging to find female candidates seeking advanced business degrees for career advantages despite the unique challenges and barriers they face due to Covid-19.”
The 2021 report analyses the data collected between July and December 2020 from a total of 2,515 (330 from India) individuals worldwide planning to pursue GME.
The council’s 2021 Prospective Students Survey Report found the proportion of respondents reporting they are extremely or very concerned about Covid-19 declined from 41% to 33% over the survey period.
Full-time MBA remains the most popular programme as 42% candidates reported it as their preferred option. The full-time one-year MBA is the preferred programme for candidates planning to study in Canada (26%), France (27%), Spain (38%), and the UK (28%). A full-time two-year MBA, though, is the preferred programme for candidates planning to study in the US (33%).