About two weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, when the paralysis and shock started to fade, the volume of inquiries for round one MBA deadlines sharply increased at SBC. Many in the business school consulting field expect to see a COVID-19 MBA admissions spike during the 2020-2021 season.
By every measure since then—including numbers of inquiries, visitors on our website, clients who have signed on for services—the interest in the MBA has increased for us by at least 50% compared to last year at this time. In fact, we’ve had weeks where demand has doubled.
Why the skyrocketing interest?
We often hear the obvious drivers: MBA demand is counter-cyclical to the economy. Opportunity costs are now lower. MBA applicants typically are debt-free in their twenties and can manage the expense. Some young professionals see the MBA as an escape from unemployment or furlough status.
But, at a deeper level, many of the MBA applicants we’ve talked to in recent weeks say they need cutting-edge knowledge from a top MBA program to navigate the dynamic business changes ahead.
MBA applicants look to the MBA to gain the vital tools and frameworks to thrive in the radically-changing business landscape. Technology, supply chain, and other disciplines will become reimagined within the business school environment. That is a huge lure. It’s an exciting time for young, MBA-aspiring professionals. Many view the 2023 MBA class as a symbol of new beginnings and hope.
Our COVID-19 MBA Admissions Prediction
As we recently shared with Poets & Quants, we predict that MBA demand will increase significantly for the top MBA programs. (The number of seats going to deferrals from this cycle may further compound the issue. ) Both quality and quantity are about to be re-defined. Without a doubt, the caliber of the applicant pool with respect to diversity, leadership, industry, and career visions will soar in the application season that is upon us.