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Prepare for the Next Recession With an MBA

The decision to invest in a Master of Business Administration degree will affect you for the rest of your career. Economic cycles will fluctuate, but the evidence strongly suggests the degree will benefit you whether the economy is weak or strong.

The Economy and the MBA Decision

During 2019, the United States economy experienced a bull market with historically low unemployment. When unemployment levels are low, there are more opportunities for promotion and advancement and less motivation for many people to take the time and money required to earn a traditional MBA.

Conversely, when there is a shortage of opportunities, the timing seems ideal for professionals to step out of the business arena, provided they can afford to do so, and invest in an MBA degree program. Unfortunately, the costs of a traditional on-campus MBA have been prohibitive for a large segment, if not a majority, of the working population.

Times have changed, however. The online model has made it possible as well as convenient for professionals to graduate with an MBA from a prestigious institution for a much lower tuition cost and in less time. For many prospective candidates today, cost is no longer a reason to delay, even during a strong economy.

In addition to cost and the strong job market, the lack of accelerated MBA programs contributes to the decline in applications across 150 programs of varying levels of prestige, say admissions officials of MBA programs. This highlights the appeal of one-year programs, which reduce both the length of the program and the total costs. Companies that want to promote quickly from within also value the accelerated MBA.

GMAC Research Reveals the Professional Value of MBA Attainment

Job markets take very little time to recognize the value of MBA-level leadership training, and the benefits to graduates begin to accrue. The GMAC 2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey of more than 11,000 business school alumni reveals the following:

  • Citing "a financially rewarding experience," 93% of alumni say they would still pursue an MBA again knowing what they know now.
  • Including variations in job level and location, the median base salary among graduates is $115,000 per year.
  • 79% of B-school alumni are employed by a company and 10% as entrepreneurs.
  • Four out of five B-school alumni rate the value of their education as outstanding or excellent.
  • 94% of alumni agree their education was personally rewarding.
  • 89% of alumni agree their education was professionally rewarding.
  • 73% of alumni agree their education was financially rewarding.

The GMAC: Business School Hiring Report - Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 of more than 1,200 employers worldwide reveals the following:

  • The top three job functions companies plan to fill with MBA graduates this year are:
    • Strategy/innovation
    • Finance
    • Business intelligence/analytics
  • 77% of U.S. employers plan to hire MBA talent this year.
  • 56% of U.S. employers plan to increase MBA starting salaries this year.

The GMAC Employability and Business School Graduates - Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 of more than 1,200 employers worldwide reveals the following:

  • Nearly nine in 10 recruiters agree that business school graduates are well-prepared to be successful in their companies.
  • 96% of Fortune Global 100 companies agree that business school graduates are well-prepared to succeed in their companies and 94% of Fortune Global 500 companies agree.
  • 96% of for-profit companies agree that business school graduates are well-prepared to be successful in their companies.
  • Problem-solving and collaboration are the skills recruiters identify as the most important for their job openings, and these skills are nurtured in MBA programs.
  • Recruiter confidence in recent graduates is strong across industries, particularly finance, technology, and health care.

Whether the next recession strikes in one year or five years, MBA candidates can feel confident that the investments made in their skills and employability will pay off throughout their careers. Once the decision has been made to pursue an MBA, a delay only lengthens the timeline for the realization of all of the personal, professional and financial benefits an MBA has to offer.

Learn more about Pittsburg State University's online MBA program.


Sources:

GMAC: 2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey: The Value of a Graduate Management Education

GMAC: 2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey: B-School Alumni Employment Report

GMAC: Employability and Business School Graduates - Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019

GMAC: Business School Hiring Report - Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019

Investopedia: When Is an MBA Worth It?

Inside Higher Ed: Understanding the Decline in MBA Applications


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