Graduate Management News
Data & Trends

Data to Go: Young Women in a Hurry

International Women’s Day 2011 finds more, younger women interested in graduate business degrees – and they’re moving from interest to enrollment much faster than their male counterparts. Although the MBA remains a big draw for women, they are increasingly drawn to master’s in accounting programs.

Data from the Graduate Management Admission Council show:

  • More women in the pipeline. The number of GMAT exams taken by women hit a record 105,900 in the testing year ending June 30, 2010 ─a record 40.1 percent of all tests taken and the second straight year the total number topped 100,000.
  • Business school is attractive to East Asian women. Among the top 25 citizen groups taking the exam, there were more exams taken by women than men in five: China (second largest citizen group, 30,264 tests), Taiwan (fifth-largest, 3,951), Thailand (ninth-largest, 1,984), Russia (10th, 2,019) and Vietnam (14th, 1,196).

  • There’s a youth movement among women. The average age of a GMAT test taker is 26.2, slightly younger than the male average of 27.6. Nearly half (45.5 percent) of all the GMAT exams taken by women were taken by women younger than 25.
  • Women move through the decision-making and application process faster. The average female business school applicant applied to her first program 3.5 years after completing an undergraduate degree, a full year earlier than the average man, according to GMAC’s 2011 Prospective Students Survey
  • Specialized degrees hold appeal. 56 percent of the GMAT exams taken by women were by aspiring MBAs. Among accounting undergraduates taking the GMAT, more tests were taken by women than men.  Master’s of Accounting programs, meanwhile, report in GMAC’s Application Trends Survey that 57 percent of their applicants are women.

For International Women’s Day, March 8, GMAC has a compilation of statistics on women and graduate management education. More GMAC research is at

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