Enrolling the Incoming Class of 2021

March 2021


Based on the mba.com Prospective Students Survey, this report analyzes the data collected between July and December 2020 from a total of 2,515 individuals worldwide. It provides data and insights into diverse journeys of prospective students planning to pursue graduate management education (GME) in 2021.

The report examines how candidate journeys vary by the preference for program type and study destination. It addresses the following questions:

  • How are concerns about the impact of COVID-19 shaping the decisions and journeys of prospective students?
  • What are the triggers/motivators for pursuing GME? What are the information sources used by prospective students?
  • What are prospective students’ post-GME career goals, preferred industries, and job functions?

The report summarizes findings by program types (Full-Time MBA, Executive MBA, Online MBA, Master of Data Analytics, Master of Finance, Master in Management, etc.), study destinations (Canada, France, US, UK, etc.), and candidate citizenship (China, India, Nigeria, US, UK, etc.)

The findings suggest that demand for GME continues to accelerate as the concerns about the impact of COVID-19 wane. Additionally, candidates are signaling a willingness to explore different paths to pursue GME as a part of their career goals. This report identifies at least three notable growth drivers for GME demand related to employability, flexibility, and regional mobility.

This report offers a forward-looking view of the shape of the things to come for graduate enrollment at business schools in 2021. The results reaffirm the importance of monitoring and tracking the diverse candidate journeys to inform future enrollment strategies.

Access the summary blog and infographic