B-School Applicants Decline for Four Years


I’ve been waiting quite a while for this to happen, as it increases the odds of getting accepted into a higher ranked program. With that said, the top programs are still highly selective. It just seems as though prospects aren’t willing to take on the opportunity costs associated with going back to school.

Read this today. I’m not even sure I want to go but will probably apply this year just because I think my odds are better and my GMAT score will have expired by next year. Don’t want to have to retake it especially with a new format.

But which applicants are dropping out? The “sure thing” applicants or the “reach” applicants?

The optimistic spin on this could be that the labor market is improving so fewer people are going back to b-school for lack of better options.

I’m pretty sure it’s because the finance job market sucks. That’s why Columbia applications fell the most, but Stanford or Berkeley have positive growth in applications. People are optimistic that LinkedIn or someone will hire them after two years, but they are not optimistic that NY financial institutions will have job openings.

How many that graduated since 2008 were ever employed? Maybe they don’t have any relevant experience to apply to B school.

From what I heard the bschools are really reducing the number of finance people admitted. It actually makes a lot of sense. If the industry is on the decline, your graduates will have lower stats in recruiting placement and hurt overall school stats

yeah Harvard Business School (HBS) Incoming Class Chart

That shouldn’t affect me since I’m in consulting, but I’m trying to transition into finance. Oh geez…

Edwin Lefebvre said in Reminiscences of a Stock Operator that we should follow the path of least resistance. Finance is a contracting industry. Why stack the odds against you?

Even if the graph shows" The business School’s incoming class will have fewer finance professionals" still they constitute the highest percetage of professionals in the incoming class! The relative consecutive decline in finance is only due to the employment market conditions and like '08 to '09 or '10 to '11 will again pick up sooner than later. No reasons to get disheartened these are the trends which only reflect contemporary economic and social conditions which fortunately keeps fluctuating in favour of finance and IT (High tech and communication as they have grouped it) in more or less cycles.

Today’s news item (though speaking globally and not for specific Business Schools like Ivy League) too points in this direction :"After three years of decreasing application numbers, the full-time MBA programme and its other variants are back in demand globally. A large slice of this growth comes from India and China, where colleges have recorded an increase in applications.

In India, 83% of GMAT score-accepting MBA programmes surveyed reported an increase in applications as did 80% colleges in China. Specialised MBA courses that attract undergraduate students and those with less than a year’s work experience are also in demand.

There’s good news for those who look for gender parity in business management; classrooms are also inching towards equality, with women making up over 40% of MBA applications around the world.

These are some of the highlights of the 13th annual application trends survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner of the GMAT exam. In 2001-2002, when the global economy slowed down, applications to MBA programs increased. As the global economy recovered, programs reported a decrease in the number of applications received, with full-time MBA programs bottoming out in 2004 and 2005. Part-time and executive MBA programs fared better, as students were able to keep working while completing their course work.

As the most recent global recession began in late 2007 and deepened in 2008, unemployment rates rose and application volumes for full-time MBA programs once again began to climb, peaking in 2009. For the past three years of a sluggish economic recovery (2009-2011), full-time MBA programs reported slowing or decreasing application growth.

_ But in 2012, all MBA programme formats saw an increase in the percentage of programs reporting growth compared with findings from 2011, the GMAC report notes. The application profile is also changing. In 2012, women accounted for 39% of the applicant pool for the full-time two-year MBA, up from 35% in 2011. But the largest shift was seen among applicants to the executive MBA course. In 2012, 37% of executive MBA applicants were women, in contrast to 2011 when women accounted for only 27% of executive MBA applicants. In 2012, women make up more than 40 percent of applicants for all the MBA courses._

"Regionally, across all MBA programs, full-time one-year MBA programs in Asia (Asia-Pacific and Central Asia combined) reported the greatest growth in female application volume in 2012 at 77 percent, compared with 32 percent of full-time one-year MBA programs in Europe and 47 percent in the United States," states the report.

Again, findings new to this year’s survey reveal special efforts made to recruit entrepreneurs (6%), pre-experience candidates (13%), and members of the LGBT community (9%). One thing, however, has not changed. Worldwide, Indian, Chinese, and US citizens accounted for the greatest number of foreign applicants to MBA programs for 43%, 27%, and 6% of MBA programs, respectively, yet their numbers have fallen when compared to previous years."

Who cares?

I’ll trade you my MBA for your CFA…



Depending on what school, I’d do it in a heartbeat.