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Demand for Management Education Edges Up Despite Decreased Volume for Two-Year Programs in the U.S., GMAC Reports

Overall demand for graduate business and management programs around the world grew slightly last year, although two-thirds of two-year MBA programs in the United States reported declines in application volume, according to the most recent survey from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which owns the GMAT exam.

GMAC released the results of its 2012 Applications Trends Survey today, revealing increasing complexity in the global business school space. Fifty-one percent of programs overall — inclusive of MBA, master’s, and PhD programs — reported an increase in application volumes for their incoming class of 2012–2013 compared with last year. But different programs are appealing to different students in different parts of the world.

“There is greater demand that business schools today offer specialized and flexible programs to meet corporate and student needs,” GMAC President and CEO David Wilson said in a statement. “Worldwide, these diverse graduate management programs are drawing different kinds of students,” he continued, adding that technology has helped some schools meet increasingly varied demand, as has flexibility in delivery mode. “The message students and companies are sending is clear; one size does not necessarily fit all,” Wilson added.

GMAC’s annual survey shows application changes at the program level this year over last, finding that specialized master’s programs showed growth for the fifth straight year and that worldwide, full-time two-year MBA programs appear to be stabilizing despite continued decreased application volume among these programs in the United States. Full-time, two-year MBA programs in Asia Pacific showed significant growth, with 79 percent reporting application increases.

The survey also revealed a continuing trend toward more international applicant pools. Most programs reported increased or steady application volume from foreign citizens. The vast majority of responding programs reported that their applicant pools continue to be very strong. Ninety percent of all MBA programs and 94 percent of specialized master’s programs reported that the 2012 applicant pool was more than or as qualified as the 2011 pool, GMAC reports.

View the complete 2012 Application Trends Survey Report.


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Posted in: GMAT News, MBA News

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