According to statistics, application numbers for both full- and part-time MBA courses have dropped at more than half of U.S. business schools this year. According to the 2016 Application Trends Survey Report, which was released recently by the Graduate Management Admission Council, application numbers are on a steady decline over 365 MBA programs at a total of 219 schools and colleges. Gregg Schoenfeld, director of research at GMAC, said that the decline in applicants to full-time programs makes sense thanks to the recovery of employment since the Great Recession.

Why Less People are Applying

The decline in applications to full-time MBA courses may cause students to wonder whether or not it’s worth applying to study for an MBA degree. However, one of the main reasons that application numbers are decreasing is due to the fact that there are more jobs available. According to the director of research at GMAC, the fact that more people have jobs which offer them good opportunities for career growth and progression means that less people are willing to quit work in order to pursue an MBA. Along with that, the improvement of the economy means that the number of people worried about getting a good job in the future has also declined.

Larger vs. Smaller Schools

As the demand for MBA graduates rises, the survey results showed a significant difference between the drop in applications for full-time MBA programs between larger and smaller schools. Whilst smaller colleges and schools, particularly in the Midwest, saw a huge drop in the number of applications hoping to embark on a full-time MBA course this year, certain larger schools actually reported a rise in applicants, showing that when it comes to getting an MBA, the greater brand recognition certainly helps to bring in a larger number of applicants. For example, the online executive masters in business administration at Washington State University is more likely to attract more applicants than smaller schools in the Midwest, according to data.

Part-Time Applicants

For many people who are considering taking an MBA, a part-time study option is more ideal. The fact that more people have jobs due to the economic recovery since the Great Recession is perhaps one of the main reasons why part-time MBA applications have not dropped quite as significantly as those for full-time study. One of the main factors affecting whether or not students apply to study for a part-time executive masters in business administration program is perhaps the willingness of employers to foot all or part of the bill. Many students who pursue a part-time MBA course after graduating from college do so whilst working in a bid to improve their chances of landing promotions and furthering their career. Because of this, it makes sense that more MBA applicants will be hoping to complete their studies on a part-time basis.

If you’re considering taking a full- or part-time MBA, don’t let the numbers put you off! Although there may be less applications for MBA degrees, this is still one of the most sought-after and coveted qualifications in the business world.

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