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Know Why B-Schools Abroad Are Opening UP To Deferred MBA Programs

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Yocket Editorial Team
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Are you currently studying at the undergraduate or postgraduate level and aim to pursue an MBA from a foreign university in the near future to give a boost to your career? 

Or are you someone who expects to go for an MBA with in-person classes, networking events or simply having a great time with your batchmates from other cultures and nationalities like in the pre-pandemic era? 

If you are one of the above, there is a great option for you in the form of a deferred MBA, offered by a number of international universities. 

Key Facts

  • According to a survey by The Graduate Management Admission Council, 57% of courses allowed applicants to delay their entry, besides offering flexibility, extending application deadlines and deferral policies.
  • The survey also noted that programs in the US and Canada saw a big jump in deferral rates at 61% and 63%, respectively. 
  • The MBA courses had higher deferral rates on an average as compared to business master’s. 

More About The Deferred MBA 

It is similar to the usual MBA and differs when it comes to one aspect – students can get pre-admission for their MBA course abroad, as early as two years prior to actually starting it. They can gain work experience and build their professional network in the given time period. 

Meant for those usually in the final-year of their bachelor’s or master’s qualification, deferred MBA programs appeal to those who are just starting out in their careers or those who have limited or are devoid of work experience in a full-time role. 

Such courses are the preferred choice of mainly those who have devised a career plan, have great workplace and leadership skills and are willing to hone them. Those who go for the deferred MBA programs are relieved that they have the option of backing up their qualifications even when they are working – whether for some company or in their own business.

This also gives diversity to B-schools in terms of students who can be from different academic backgrounds, including the non-typical science or social science streams. 

Institutions Offering Deferred MBA 

Institutions such as Wharton, Stanford, Harvard, Chicago Booth and Yale offer deferred MBA courses. As an applicant, some of the things you need to include are a good CV highlighting your skills, your work experience (as an intern or regular employee), letter of recommendation, and your GRE/GMAT score.  

An important thing to remember is that a deferred MBA is the same as a regular MBA program and you must assess a B-school by the same parameters such as its quality of education, faculty, industry-academia link, exposure pertaining to workplace skills and others. The admission criteria, however, will vary from college to college. You can secure a seat and start the course later.

Are B-Schools Welcoming Deferred MBA Applicants?

Owing to the pandemic, the deferral rates between 2019 and 2020 for MBA programs increased to 7% from 3%, as many were unsure about travel, visas and in-person learning. 

The Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) 2020 Application Trends Survey suggests B-Schools have acquainted themselves with the new normal and also with deferred courses as 57% of courses permitted applicants to delay their entry, besides allowing flexibility, extending application deadlines and deferral policies.

The survey also reported that programs in the US (61%) and Canada (63%) saw a big jump in deferral rates. The MBA courses had higher deferral rates on an average as compared to business master’s. It also suggested that international candidates were less likely to commit to enrollment and more likely to ask for deferrals. 

Research from Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), which specializes in the analysis of higher education institutions globally, also suggests that with effective support from their chosen university, prospective international students can make informed decisions about whether to defer their attendance to a time when in-person teaching is allowed, or whether to begin studying with their chosen university remotely.