Scott Edinburgh
November 19, 2021

The Value of an MBA Prevails in GMAC’s 2021 Student Survey

Once again, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) has highlighted the benefits of getting an MBA. In its latest Enrolled Student Survey Report, GMAC announced a number of key findings regarding post-business school employment, MBA ROI, and the overall value of an MBA education.

GMAC’s 2021 Corporate Recruiter’s Survey uncovered strong hiring and salary trends for MBA graduates. Several months later, the future for MBA hopefuls looks just as bright.

Below, Personal MBA Coach has shared some of the highlights from GMAC’s latest report. These findings are a result of responses from over one thousand students from nearly 60 business schools in 30 countries.

1. Post-MBA employment trends remain strong.

GMAC’s Enrolled Student Survey Report gathered responses from a mix of career switchers, career enhancers, and aspiring entrepreneurs. At the time of the survey, which was conducted halfway through 2021, two-thirds of the class of 2021 had already secured job offers.

Despite the challenges of the ongoing global pandemic, the vast majority of survey respondents reported feeling confident in their employability. GMAC has concluded that the most successful employment pathways are through a work project or internship, yielding a 63 percent success rate. That said, many job seekers also applied directly to companies (48 percent success rate) or used online job search platforms (34 percent success rate).

2. Students confirm their confidence in MBA ROI.

While it is no secret that business school is a large investment, students continue find it to be a worthwhile expense. Even in times of economic uncertainty, 80 percent of respondents attested that their business school education is worth the price tag. Similarly, 79 percent of students said that one of the benefits of getting an MBA is an increase in earning power. This is a promising statistic for those who are on the fence about MBA ROI.

For reference, per GMAC’s past survey on corporate recruiting, the median salary of MBA graduates ($115,000) is 77 percent higher than those with a bachelor’s degree ($65,000) and 53 percent higher than those hired directly from industry ($75,000).

If the cost of business school is a factor in your decision to apply, remember that scholarship money, though somewhat elusive, is available every application year. Personal MBA Coach’s clients earned an industry-leading $6.5M in scholarships last year. Here, find out how to maximize your chances of scholarship success!

3. Faculty and curriculum are among the top benefits of an MBA experience.

Regarding program experience, components like faculty, curriculum and the admissions process received the highest marks from students. Given that a strong faculty and curriculum are integral to a positive MBA experience, it comes as no surprise that 9 out of 10 students said they would recommend their school to MBA hopefuls.

While this means that word of mouth can have a powerful impact on school selection, Personal MBA Coach advises all candidates to do their research and carefully evaluate whether a program is right for them. Pay attention to specific areas of excellence at the programs you are considering. Specifically, consider your post-MBA goals and which school’s offerings would be the best fit for you.

4. The quality and reputation of a school has the biggest impact on decision-making.

Respondents from the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific all placed the quality/reputation of a school as a top priority in the MBA decision-making process.

Naturally, this is important given that many future employers and investors will pay attention to the program you attended to get a better idea of your skills and potential.

That said, remember that MBA rankings and the overall reputation of a program are only one aspect of the decision-making process. There are several other factors to think about when selecting target programs, such as location and which companies recruit on campus.

Find out more about how to approach school selection by downloading our free Decision Making Guide!

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 14 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last year, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!