Graduate Management News

Top Takeaways from 2009 GMAC Research and Opportunities for 2010

The business school talent pool is increasingly diverse and mobile, and those optimistic about the economy are more likely to pursue graduate management education.

Building on the knowledge base of GMAT test-taker data, GMAC survey efforts in 2009 yielded insights, ideas and answers for schools on significant B-school trends. Here’s a recap of some notable findings and details on how you can get involved in the New Year:

The b-school talent pipeline is increasingly diverse. Of the 265,613 GMAT exams taken in TY2009, 51 percent were taken by non-US citizens, and 39 percent were taken by women. The average age was 27, and 40 percent were under 25. Explore the GMAT Interactive Profile web tool with your preferred data criteria or see the published Profile of GMAT Candidates.

The talent pools are extremely mobile. Among citizens of East/Southeast Asia sitting for the GMAT in this testing year, 23 percent sat for the exam outside of their region. The print edition of the Profile of GMAT Candidates includes several new tables offering insight into talent pipelines and mobility in highlighting examinee location by citizenship, and GMAC webinar presentations on GME trends for North America, China, and Asia Pacific offer regional analysis.

Demand for graduate management education remained countercyclical to the economy. The conventional wisdom that demand for graduate management education goes up as employment goes down held true, with GMAT volume hitting a record as unemployment levels rose to double digits in the United States. But the global nature of the recession and of graduate management education complicated the picture in 2009, with the overall composition of the GME pipeline changing. See more in the presentation The Impact of the Global Economy on the MBA Pipeline from the 2009 Annual Industry Conference.

Graduate business students are an optimistic bunch. Forthcoming analysis of the economic viewpoints of prospective students reveals that those who say they have no reservations about economic/job uncertainty are more likely to enroll in graduate management programs within a year. And, among prospective students worldwide, those in Asia are most optimistic about their regional economy. Look for the early 2010 release of data collected from the Registrants Survey.

Graduate management education is still seen as a good investment. Among GME alumni in the Class of ‘09, 84 percent were employed by the time they graduated, and 58 percent definitely got the kind of first job they were looking for. More than three-fourths of alumni (78 percent) indicated their graduate management degree was essential to landing a job once they left graduate school, a percentage that is also on par with previous years. See more in the Alumni Perspectives Survey Report.

Employers are cautiously optimistic for 2010. Although the level of uncertainty in hiring plans remains high (reported by roughly a quarter of participating employers) in the Year-End Employer Poll Results for 2009, more employers anticipate hiring MBAs and specialized MSc alumni in 2010.

Participate in 2010 and reap the benefits

By participating in GMAC’s suite of surveys, your school can contribute to industry knowledge and gain valuable access to full data and benchmarking reports.

Corporate Recruiters Survey: Sign up by January 15; the survey is released in late spring. Schools that facilitate the survey by identifying their corporate recruiters receive custom reports that let them know how recruiters compare them with peer schools. The Corporate Recruiters Survey is released in late spring.

Graduate Management Education Graduate Survey: Sign up by February 1; the survey is released in late spring. Schools that include their graduating class enjoy expanded reports, early data, and custom reports that let them know what their students are thinking.

Application Trends Surveys: Sign up in February for an early look at application cycle data in the Preliminary Study; schools can also sign up to participate in the main Application Trends Survey, launched in May with the report released by fall. Participating schools receive free custom reports that let them know how they compare with peer schools.

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