The demand for management courses is gradually going back to pre-pandemic levels worldwide, recent market data has revealed. Travel and visa restrictions, stringent lockdowns and lack of in-person classes impacted the business schools too but data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) shows that the application volumes for graduate B-school courses increased marginally by 0.4% in 2021 from the previous year.
This was mainly due to B-schools introducing more flexible admission policies, and applicants looking for alternative careers.
- About 52% of full-time one-year and 56% two-year MBA programs reported a rise in applications in 2021, data from GMAC suggests.
- While around 26,129 Indian students appeared for GMAT in 2020, the number for 2021 was 27,445
- India was also the second of the list of top score-sending destinations by school country, in 2021 with 18,658 scores sent
Full-Time MBA Programs A Hit
The study, done between July 8 and August 23, 2021, and gathered feedback from 967 programs at 269 business schools worldwide, also suggests that full-time MBA programs continued to be popular in 2021. About 52% of full-time one-year and 56% two-year MBA programs reported a rise in applications last year.
About 60% full-time two-year MBA programs registered an increase in applications from women candidates compared to 43% programs reporting growth from male candidates.
Full-time two-year MBA programs showing growth in applications from international candidates doubled from 28% in 2019 to 57% in 2021.
More courses saw a rise in applications in 2021, as compared to 2020, from international students, with 41% observing an increase in applications.
Indian GMAT Test Takers
Covering 7,736 management courses worldwide, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) saw a drop in the number of tests administered in 2020 from the previous year, owing to the pandemic impact. Business master’s and MBA accepted the maximum number of GMAT scores for admissions worldwide. More than 173,000 tests were conducted in 2020 as compared to over 225,000 in 2019. There was a further drop in 2021 with 156,453 tests being conducted. Some of the key reasons were unavailability of test centres, inability of candidates to travel and uncertainty of the status of graduate programs.
While around 26,129 Indian students appeared for GMAT in 2020, the number for 2021 was 27,445. Indian citizens represented 94% of GMAT tests taken by Central and South Asian citizens and 15% of global testing overall.
India was also the second of the list of top score-sending destinations by school country, in 2021 with 18,658 scores sent.
These trends indicate that GMAT and management education programs are still being opted for by a good number of candidates worldwide and MBA has not lost its sheen due to the emergence of newer fields and unavoidable scenarios like the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must have a clear GMAT preparation strategy to be able to get a competitive score.