2015 Post-MBA Goals: Decline in Career Switchers

MBA Research Career Switch Entreprenurship 2015 TrendsFor prospective MBA Aspirants, understanding the competition is crucial before developing a strategy for MBA Application. To gauge the competition in a particular school, it is important that you identify the nationalities and region of MBA applicants targeting the school and analyze the factors that influence their choices.

Business Schools are not going to back down from their search for diversity in nationality, gender, and profile. Whether your profile captures experience diversity depends on how you spin your story and position your personal brand, but regions and nationalities are reserved by the school based on a hidden quota system for each application cycle. In a year, if the majority of MBA Applicants from Asia-Pacific were targeting the 2-Year Full-time MBA program, and you are one of the applicants from the region, it would be wise to mix your top 5 MBA program list with a few premium 1-Year MBA programs. The report is your first data point, and we at F1GMAT are here to summarize the trends for you.

Increase in MBA Application (Aspiring Entrepreneurs)

It might be an uncertain job market, the Entrepreneurial eco-system in many top Business Schools or the attitude of Millennials towards long-term employability. Whatever the influencing factors might be, the past 5 years has shown a clear trend with Aspiring Entrepreneurs pursuing MBA programs from 19% in 2010 to 28% in 2014.

A particularly interesting trend to note is that prospective applicants from Africa (45%), Latin America (44%) and Central & South Asia (43%) demonstrate the bulk of the Entrepreneurial aspirations. Although it is true that in the year 2014, the world’s 300 largest Metropolitan Economies (mostly distributed in China and Turkey, followed by a few top performers in the US, and UK) contributed towards half of World’s global output, sub-Saharan Africa as an investment destination is gaining attention. According to Ernst and Young, Africa reported an annual compounded FDI growth rate of 19.5% since 2007. The bulk of the investment is in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, with the emerging economies Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda gaining renewed interests. Next time you research for the list of Global Experiential learning programs published by Business Schools, pick schools that have already customized their curriculum according to the emerging trend. They are far more attuned towards change in Global job opportunities.

Decrease in MBA Application (Career Switchers and Career Enhancers)

The 2008-09 Financial meltdown might be a rude wake-up call for MBA aspirants with data showing a larger competition for the same positions. Due to the perceived uncertainty, fewer and fewer professionals are risking their career with an advanced degree especially a degree that would require them to forgo income for 18 to 30 months. The MBA aspirants with a goal to switch careers have come down heavily from 46% to 38% while aspirants looking at MBA as an opportunity to solidify their career has took a beating in the year 2014 at 34% from the highs of 40% in 2011.

Interestingly, the currently employed forms the majority (53%) of aspiring Entrepreneurs. Perhaps it is the optimism of the working professionals. Most professionals would rather risk their career for a shot at Entrepreneurship than try a different career path. Meaningful work has gone beyond mental stimulation. Autonomy is what these professionals seek and Entrepreneurship is a distinct career path to achieve this goal.

Career Switchers are mostly concentrated in regions that host some of the top MBA programs – Canada (45%) and the United States (44%). If you are a local applicant targeting some of the top MBA programs in your region, do understand that competition is high among the applicant pool with similar career goals. How you articulate the reasons for the switch in career through essays is crucial if you have any chance of getting into a Top MBA program, which specializes in this transition.

Applicants who are looking to enhance their Career through promotions and more responsibilities in the same domain(Mostly seen in Finance Professionals – Accounting, Finance and Taxation), the competition is highest from the applicant pool in Asia-Pacific (42%), Eastern Europe (38%), and Western Europe (36%). Again, how an MBA will add value to your career path should be clearly articulated in the essays. For help, subscribe to our essay review service.

About 2015 GMAC Prospective Students Survey Report

11,674 prospective MBA students participated in the survey with 6142 Men and 5532 Women participants. The survey was send to registered MBA aspirants on mba.com active from October 2013 to September 2014, and was compared with data from over 83,000 prospective MBA aspirants, who have responded to similar surveys over the past 5 years.

Among the survey participants, the Under 24 demographic was slightly the majority with a representation of 5583 while 24-30 was at a close second at 4318 with the 31 and older group at 1759.

The Majority of the participants were from the United States(3480), followed by Asia-Pacific(2750), Central & South Asia(2102), Europe(1453), Middle East & Africa(1001), Latin America(547), and finally Canada(341).

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