Peter von Loesecke, CEO and Managing Director, of The MBA Tour, shared the following insights with Accepted.com.
I am often approached with the question about how the current economic conditions are affecting the market for MBA programs. Not surprisingly, even people working in the education industry are unsure about how the current global recession is affecting potential applicants. As a former supplier of pre-MBAs and employer of MBA graduates, I have observed that recessions always had a similar outcome: applications to schools increased early in the recession and then declined as the recession limited hiring opportunities for graduates.
We can take comfort in that this recession regardless of its severity is and will have the same affect on applications. We just don’t know for how long this will last. To be sure, the application pool in 2009 and 2010 will be different from 2007 and 2008. My prediction is that 2009 and 2010 MBA applicants will be very careful about investing in their careers. Many applicants needing the extra business training will consider part time programs more seriously to avoid disrupting their current careers. A smart and conservative choice for many pre-MBAs!
Anyone seriously considering a full time MBA program should closely examine their job prospects at graduation. This is the time to ask school representatives tough questions about job prospects from their institution. If you are lucky to be sponsored, you have nothing to worry about so long as you have a contract from your employer. The vast majority of students don’t have the luxury of being sponsored, so they need to be careful.
A much more conservative approach to applying to business school is to lower your expectations for career opportunities. If your expectations are to stay in your current profession and industry, then you are pretty employable. If you are looking to make a dramatic change in your profession and industry, you should re-calibrate your expectations. Employers not aggressively hiring MBAs are not going to take the risks they take in good economic times. This means they will hire those that have experience closely matching their needs. So that means consulting firms will first seek those graduates who already have consulting experience not newcomers to consulting. Unless you have experience in an industry that needs consultants you might have a difficult time finding a job. The same is true for banking, brand management, corporate finance and so on.
The upside to all this is that if you are willing to take the risk for applying to full time programs, you might find the competition to some schools a little easier this coming year. However, do your homework and understand what you may face when you graduate in 12 to 24 months.
About The MBA Tour
Established in 1993, The MBA Tour is an international business recruitment platform with emphasis on personal interaction between prospective MBA students, business school admission representatives, alumni and other like-minded education enthusiasts. It has built its reputation based on representing only the top business schools from Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America.
The winners of the “Peter and Alice von Loesecke Scholarship Foundation’ have been announced. For more info, visit the MBA Tour website.