Prospective Students Survey Report 2015

April 2015


This Prospective Students Survey Report 2015 explores the motivations, career goals, preferred program types, financial choices, decision time lines, and intended study destinations of individuals interested in pursuing a graduate management education. Findings analyzed in the report represent responses from nearly 12,000 prospective business school students who registered on between October 2013 and September 2014.

Survey data collected in 2014 are compared with earlier data collected from more than 83,000 individuals who have responded to the registrants’ surveys over the last five years. With analysis of survey responses available for all world regions, including 30 specific countries, this is the largest data source of its kind.


Quick Facts

  • MBA programs remain the predominant program type that prospective business school students considered in 2014: 52% of candidates considered only MBA programs, compared with 22% who considered only specialized business master’s programs. Twenty-six percent of candidates considered both program types.
  • The majority of respondents (65%) pursue a graduate business degree to increase their job opportunities. Segmenting prospective students by career goals reveals three distinct groups: career switchers (38% of respondents), career enhancers (34%),  and aspiring entrepreneurs (28%).
  • More than half (52%) of prospective students seek to study outside their country of citizenship, up from 40 percent in 2010. The United States still remains the top desired study destination for prospective students.
  • Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers differ in programs considered, preferred course delivery and school culture, motivations, and more. Millennials, those born after 1980, represent 88% of all survey respondents, globally.