Two-year MBAs still the gold standard

Two-year MBAs still the gold standard Full-time, two-year MBA programs worldwide edged out their one-year counterparts in terms of growth, according to new application trends for 2014 analyzed by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

For the second year in a row, 65 per cent of two-year MBA programs reported increased or stable application volumes compared to flat or declining demand for one-year and specialized graduate offerings. Among one-year programs, 60 per cent reported a decrease in application volumes from last year, according to the council that administers the widely-used entrance exam for graduate business programs.

For some students, a two-year MBA has an advantage over shorter-duration programs despite a higher price, says Michelle Sparkman Renz, director of research communication for GMAC. “It might offer additional time with classmates for networking, internships, activities for case competitions or even exchange or study abroad.” According to the survey, students in a majority of programs still expect employer reimbursement of degrees.

Based on a record response from 748 programs at 314 universities, the survey highlights the diversification of offerings globally and the growing presence of foreign candidates.

International students accounted for 52 per cent of applicants to 135 full-time, two-year MBA programs worldwide in 2014, up from 48 per cent to 115 programs 2009.

In 2009, foreign students accounted for 60 per cent of 25 master of finance programs offered in 2009. But by 2014, among 38 programs reporting to GMAC, they represented 82 per cent of applicants worldwide.

“It speaks to the internationalization and the international curriculum that an MBA or specialized business master can grant someone,” Ms. Sparkman Renz says.

One Canada-specific finding is its 10th spot placement among top destinations for recruiters, according to the survey. China, India and the United States top the list, but Canada ranks ahead of France, Vietnam and Britain., perhaps because of new MBA fairs in Toronto and other cities.

Read full story: The Globe and Mail

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