MBA Still Sought-After; Non-MBA Courses Catching On: GMAC Survey

A master of business administration (MBA) is still the most-sought-after degree for graduate-level business students in India, according to a global survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The report from the Annual Prospective Students Survey showed specialised master’s degree in business had gained favour with students in India and abroad.

Gregg Schoenfeld, director, management education research, said in India, master of entrepreneurship, international management, human resources and project management were more preferred.

Also, master of engineering management, supply-chain management, business information technology and data analytics were more preferred by Indians. Globally, in five years, those focusing on specialized master’s degrees increased from 13 to 20 per cent, as those considering MBAs declined from 55 to 53 per cent. Crossover demand, those considering MBA and non-MBA specialized master – declined from a third to a quarter.

The GMAC is a global non-profit of graduate business schools and the owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). In India, the exam is accepted for admissions at 200 programs at 100 business schools. The top-10 study destinations in that order are the US, the UK, Canada, France, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Australia and the Netherlands.

The US is a preferred due to the reputation of the education system and the attractiveness of the location. India is among the top 10 for its affordability of fees, availability of financial aid and its education system’s reputation.

The GMAC conducted the survey among prospective business students who had registered on, the site for those interested in graduate business education and the site of the GMAT.

Schoenfeld said, “Business schools are drawing more diverse students overall, but they are finding the applicant pools becoming more distinct.”

With respect to India, the survey showed a majority of GMAT takers had studied engineering, information technology or computer science in graduation and three-quarters were men. While most scores (52 per cent) were sent to US business schools by Indian students, the report said that there was a rise in the number of scores sent to Indian business schools, too. From 16 per cent in 2009, the percentage had gone up to 18 in 2013

In India, both male (92.4 per cent) and female candidates (90.2 per cent) wish to take up MBA as their topmost choice. But there is an increased interest in more females than males to pursue master, PhD and doctorate programs in business.

The study has surveyed 12,000 who had registered with between October 2012 and September 2013.

Data collected in 2013 have been compared with data collected from 71,000 who responded to registrants’ surveys over four years.

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