Friday, August 27, 2010

Slowdown over, executive MBA high in demand

A year after the global financial crisis that saw students from the best B-schools across the world struggling for a job in the corporate sector, a survey on application trends for management education this year throws up some rather interesting findings. According to the survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) that conducts GMAT an MBA entrance test used by B-schools across the world, there has been a steep rise in the popularity of the executive MBA for mid-career professionals, as well as an increase in part-time MBAs for those juggling jobs, families and other responsibilities. Simultaneously, there has been a decline in the applications received for the plain vanilla fulltime MBA. The GMAC survey reflects data from 665 graduate management programmes in 39 countries. This year, 59% of Executive MBA (EMBA) programmes saw an increase in the number of applications, reversing a three-year decline. Only 37% of EMBA programmes showed gains last year.

Expectations of economic recovery may have encouraged corporate support for EMBA programs and driven top managers to obtain new knowledge and skills, says GMACs report. According to Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAT, the survey highlights the importance of flexibility and creativity in delivering management education.

What's startling, though, is the fact that there has been a sharp decline in the popularity of the full-time MBA programme for the second consecutive year. Only 44% of fulltime MBA programmes saw applications rise this year, down from 77% in 2008, when applications to these programmes peaked.

GMAC's survey attempts to understand just why this has happened. The economic recovery is underway, but signs of recession still remain. The pace of the recovery has been slower than after previous economic downturns. History shows that a recession often spurs individuals to pursue their education full time.

Source: The Times of India, August 27, 2010

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