As reported in Bloomberg Businessweek this morning, we have just released the initial results from our 2010 MBA applicant survey. Some of the results are surprising.
More than 1,700 applicants and current MBA students responded to this year’s survey, giving us a nice cross-section of applicants from various careers and walks of life. Among some of the more notable findings we’ve uncovered:
- The Bad Job Market Hasn’t Discouraged These Applicants:If a significant number of business school graduates were unable to find jobs in their desired fields, 73% of respondents would still apply, while 13% would postpone applying until placement rates improved. Only 5% of respondents indicated that they would not apply under these circumstances. Half of respondents are concerned about finding a job upon graduation from business school.
- Quality of Life Matters, Too: Leading concerns among current and prospective business school students include finding a long-term career path that appeals to them (68%) and maintaining a healthy work/life balance once they start working (60%).
- Applicants Apparently Care Most about Saving the World: We were surprised by this one. A prestigious, high-paying job was not a motivator for any respondents. Rather, an interest in business and the way it shapes society (66%) and the desire to affect positive change in the world (50%) were the most common reasons. (Really? No one cares about a high-paying job? Some of us have to take this response with at least a minor grain of salt! This may at least partly be an example of the pressure some applicants seem to feel to say what they think admissions officers want to hear.)
- Yet Prestige Does Matter When Picking an MBA Program: Prestige and ranking (80%) were overwhelmingly the key factors in identifying business schools of choice, followed by networking opportunities and alumni base (77%).
- Career Switching Is a Huge Reason to Pursue and MBA: 64% of respondents hope to leverage an MBA to switch careers, while only 19% plan to use the degree to bolster their performance in their current career.
Some very interesting insights here,which will dig into more in this space and in the full report, which will come out in the next few weeks. In the meantime, what do you think of the results? Do you really believe the large number of applicants who say that affecting positive change in the world matters more than finding a high-paying job?