Understanding the Role of the Master in Management in Global Business Education

2017 GMAC MiM Whitepaper 130x168

The rapid expansion of Master in Management (MiM) programs, starting in Europe and progressing to the MBA-focused markets of the United States and Asia-Pacific, has caused many business school leaders to grapple with understanding the strategic role of the MiM in their program portfolios and make sense of the credential’s place in the broader context of global graduate business education. Understanding the Role of the Master in Management in Global Business Education, a white paper authored by GMAC researchers and analysts, shares insights on key questions related to MiM programs and makes recommendations to help business school leaders plan for their programs’ sustainable futures.


Through a wide-ranging examination of GMAC data, the analysis presented in this paper demonstrates that MiM and full-time MBA programs largely serve distinct types of candidates at different stages of their careers and lead to different outcomes. MiM programs, which at most business schools serve pre-experience candidates, help graduates successfully launch their careers, leading them to job opportunities that otherwise might not have been open to them. For these programs, the value proposition of the MiM is grounded in the short-term—it offers pragmatic training and connections needed to start a career. Full-time MBA programs, which generally serve experienced candidates, help graduates accelerate their careers and ascend to roles with increased levels of responsibility and organizational scope. The value proposition of the full-time MBA is in the long term—it provides connections and trains students not necessarily for their first job, but for their second, third, or fourth job after business school. It is recommended that business schools clearly convey this difference in value proposition in marketing materials and recruiters’ person-to-person communications with candidates. The analysis featured in the paper also highlights key differences between the established European MiM market and the emerging US and Asia-Pacific MiM markets.

Quick Facts

  • The biggest shift seen over this period is the growing pipeline of candidates from Asia-Pacific countries. Since TY 2007, the share of unique MiM score senders from the Asia-Pacific region grew from 34 percent to 54 percent in TY 2016. This has been primarily driven by growing demand from China (33% of unique MiM score senders in TY2016) and India (14%).
  • MiM programs and full-time MBA programs largely are not directly competing for the same candidates. Among unique GMAT test takers who sent at least one score report to either a MiM or full-time MBA program in TY 2016, just 6 percent sent score reports to both program types.
  • Most European MiM candidates very recently completed their bachelor’s degree (average age of 22.7), nearly 4 in 5 majored in business (78%), and about half belong to the Global Striver segment (48%). US MiM candidates have a wider age range (average age of 25.6) and mix of majors and segments.
  • About 1 in 5 (18%) MiM alumni from all world regions have plans to earn an additional degree, compared with 1 in 10 (10%) full-time MBA graduates.