A recent GMAC survey shows a sharp increase in Executive MBA applications in 2010. 59% of EMBA programs reported an increase in applications, compared to last year’s 37%.
According to Michelle Sparkman-Renz, Director of Research Communications at GMAC, the applications received this year also came from more highly qualified candidates compared to last year’s applicants. Shelbi Brookshire, Director of EMBA Recruiting at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, explains that the increase in EMBA applications is reflective of the deeper understanding of the economy that EMBA students possess, and because of their age. Brookshire says that as baby boomers begin to leave the market in three to five years from now, spaces will be opening for highly experienced, skilled, business-educated individuals. If EMBA students plan their moves correctly, then in the next few years, Brookshire explains, as the market begins to bounce back, they’ll be able to move into higher, more lucrative positions in the business world.
Part-time MBA programs also received more applications this year; both this year and last year, 43% of part-time programs reported an application increase.
For Master’s programs in accounting, finance, and management, the numbers were again optimistic with more than 60% of programs reporting more applications this year than last.
Full-time MBA application volume, on the other hand, decreased this year, with 44% of programs indicating that they received an increase in applications, down from 66% in 2009 and 77% in 2008.
I think that the increase in applications for EMBA, part-time MBA, and MA programs also reflects today’s uncertain economy. People aren’t willing to leave their jobs if they don’t have to. Shorter, one-year MS or MA programs enable students to take off less time from work. Part-time and EMBA programs mean one can earn an MBA without quitting a job. Also, many full-time MBA programs are trending younger, so more applicants in their 30s opt for the EMBA, and this development probably also contributes to the increase in EMBA applications this year.
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