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Highlights from Higher Ed: MBA Satisfaction, Admissions Outlooks and Job Prospects

Global MBAs express satisfaction with their degrees

“Two-thirds of MBAs from across the globe are ‘fairly satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their degrees,” and 88% of respondents to the same survey agree that earning the degree allowed them to gain “substantially more skills” to help them succeed in business. Large majorities also said earning an MBA helped them “become more mentally resilient” (82%), “develop the business-related skills they’ve wanted” (74%) and feel “more confident in working abroad” (72%). However, “just two-thirds (66%) said they felt equipped to reach the future salary they hope to achieve.”

Source: Poets & Quants

Most students in top MBA programs say prices aren’t justified

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of MBA students enrolled in top-ranked programs believe those programs are not worth the expense of attending. “MBA students at some of the most expensive and prestigious programs are having buyer’s remorse, spurred by COVID-19. Students felt the price tag of their programs — some more than $80,000 annually for tuition, fees and other charges — wasn’t worth it, even after the changes required by the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of 3,532 MBA students at 95 graduate programs around the world.” A lack tuition reimbursement is one sore spot: Only 24% of respondents said they had been reimbursed by their schools to compensate for disruptions caused by the pandemic. “Overall, students reported a median tuition refund of $550 and a median refund for room, board and other fees of $500.”

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

New survey of admissions officers details the “fear and anxiety” of 2020

Fewer than 25% of senior college and university admissions officials are “very confident” that their school’s plans for the current semester will remain in place. In addition, their recruitment priorities have changed in the past year. Sixty-two percent of 433 survey respondents now say they plan to increase their recruitment of online students, compared with 51% last year. Just 31% plan to increase their recruitment of international students, down from 45% in 2019. “A record number were very concerned about filling their classes. A majority (also a record) not only did not fill their classes by May 1 (the traditional deadline) but did not fill their classes by July 1. A significant minority of private colleges said they were taking advantage of rules changes made by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to recruit students. Most colleges expect enrollment to decrease this year. A majority of those that went test optional or test blind during the pandemic do not expect to ever restore a standardized testing requirement in admissions.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Companies say job prospects for MBAs will improve in 2021

The pandemic reduced the number of companies planning to hire MBAs by a historic margin in 2020, but the outlook for 2021 appears brighter, according to a recent survey released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Prior to COVID-19, 92% of firms planned to hire MBAs in 2020, but that number fell to 77% in the wake of the pandemic. Now, however, nearly 90% plan to hire MBAs in the new year. “The top three reasons recruiters report about confidence in a b-school’s ability to prepare graduates to be successful in their organization were strategic thinking, communication skills, and versatility… MBA and business master’s graduates are not immune to the scale and scope of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. However, findings from the 2020 Corporate Recruiters Survey suggests that employers remain confident about the value of graduate management talent in their organizations.”

Source: Graduate Management Admission Council