Graduate Management News

October 2012

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

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Additional Resources

In the Spotlight: Part-Time Programs, a free webinar, will be held Thursday, October 18. Registration is open.

The Application Trends Survey documents trends in business school admissions at the program level.

The Prospective Students Survey  includes data on motivations, behaviors, program choices, and intended career outcomes from more than 16,000 people who registered on in 2011.

How US Metro Markets Vary for Student Recruitment, in the August 2012 issue of Graduate Management News, includes demographic breakdowns of potential students six US metropolitan areas, including the percentage considering part-time MBA programs.

Data to Go: Part-Time MBA

Demand for part-time MBA programs has held steady through the Great Recession, as the degree holds appeal to those who want to further their education without giving up a job.

Among part-time MBA programs surveyed in the GMAC 2012 Application Trends Survey, 44 percent saw an increase in applications from 2011, 42 percent saw decreases, and 14 percent reported no change. It was the fourth straight year that the percentages of programs showing increases and decreases have been roughly the same.

“Even as we see increased demand for other programs for working professionals, such as executive programs and online offerings, part-time MBAs are holding their own,” says GMAC Research Director Gregg Schoenfeld, who is co-hosting a 30-minute webinar on understanding the part-time MBA market on October 18. “This may be partly due to increased marketing efforts, which was often cited as at least as partial reason for why those part-time programs reported increases.”

Who are the part-time MBA applicants in today’s applicant pool? The survey brings them into focus:

  • 59 percent are male, 41 percent are female, for both lockstep and self-paced programs.
  • Overall, close to half have more than six years of work experience, but that varies by type of program. Some 54 percent of lockstep program applicants had more than six years of work experience, compared with just 7 percent of applicants to self-paced programs.
  • Very few (7 percent) have less than a year of work experience.

In addition, the GMAC Prospective Students Survey shows where those considering part-time MBA programs would like the degree to take them:

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