Scott Edinburgh
November 9, 2022

Signs It Might Be Time For An MBA

With the year’s end rapidly approaching and round 2 application deadlines clearly in sight, you may find yourself contemplating an MBA. You may be wondering: Is this a good time?

Below Personal MBA Coach’s lists a number of reasons you may not want to wait. If you have taken the GMAT/GRE (or think you could do so in time), for example, or you are feeling stuck in your job, consider starting your application process today!

But right now there is an additional—and greatly compelling—reason to take this courageous step: a recession is likely looming. Elon Musk is chopping jobs at Twitter, Amazon announced a corporate hiring freeze, Lyft is cutting 13% of its workforce, and others will likely follow.

While recession forecasting is not exactly down pat, teams of economists have been predicting a serious recession for some time—more than a year, in some cases—and many say we are already well into one. Many factors are propelling the downturn, including the withdrawal of catalysts that have been propping up the economy, such as easy access to low-interest credit. More interest rate hikes are likely to accelerate matters, further propelled by dropping consumer confidence ratings and rising inflation.

Potential MBA applicants can take steps to capitalize on the possibly transformative, life-changing opportunities provided by a looming recession. While a recession can be dangerous, it can also be accompanied by great opportunity: opportunity to reinvigorate one’s life with a transformative educational experience to match the opening doors post-recession. When the job market starts to bubble again, compared to others who have been sitting home watching Netflix or self-doubting, you will have improved yourself through a new degree, you will have new skills and interests, and you may even be prepared to launch into a new, burgeoning field.

Plus, applications to many top business schools are still down but are likely to rise in the coming year(s). Now is a sweet spot when you can apply during a slightly less competitive cycle.

While it is clear that now is a great time to apply to business school, you may be wondering if this is the best time for YOU to pursue an MBA. If one or more of the following rings true for you, now may very well be the time to start developing your MBA Application Plan!

1. You already have 4-5 years of pre-MBA experience: The average applicant for most schools has approximately 5 years of pre-MBA experience. Once you have 6+ years, your chances of acceptance begin to decrease slightly each year. Similarly, your odds of acceptance do not increase considerably between 4 and 5 years unless your role significantly changes. You should also consider the possibility that you may not be accepted the first time you apply. The longer you wait now, the more likely that you will run out of time to give your dream school one more shot by reapplying. At this stage in your career, there are few compelling reasons to wait. So, consider shooting for the stars now and applying to your first-choice schools for round 2.

2. You have reached a plateau at work: Have you stretched yourself as much as possible in your current role? Are you bored at work and feel that you have learned all you can in your current role? MBAs open entirely new horizons through coursework, interactions with peers, new experiences and networks. If you feel you are close to plateauing, now might be the time to apply. If you are at all at risk of losing your job during the recession, now is an even better time.

3. You are ready to switch careers: Switching careers while writing your business school applications can be tricky. While it works for some to change industries or functions pre-MBA, for most people post-MBA is a better time to switch careers. But if you know you want to move from banking to consulting or consulting to product management, why wait? In many ways the MBA is the great equalizer and post-MBA students often start at a similar level to each other. If this is you, think about applying today.

4. Your personal situation favors the MBA choice: Do you want a break from work? Is your partner going back to school and it will be easier to study together? Going back to school full time is a major lifestyle change, and your personal circumstance should be a key factor in your decision on when to apply. If your circumstances feel right, consider it fortuitous.

While round 3 is an option, for many schools it can be quite a challenge. So, if some or all of the above situations apply to you, Personal MBA Coach urges you to consider applying this year. If you work fast and dedicate your holiday break to applications (this is what we do), there is still time.

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 15 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources. Personal MBA Coach is the #1 most favorably reviewed US Consultant of all time on 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 cycle, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!