Various news outlets predict 2020 to have the largest year-over-year increase in applications for MBAs in recent history. This is because there is no better way to hedge against widespread economic and professional volatility than by investing in personal and academic growth. If you apply in 2020-2021, you will be in the MBA Class of 2023.
This will allow you to benefit from a refreshed and perhaps an entirely new economic landscape. There are several questions that plague potential applicants. Should you apply for an MBA during uncertain times? Which MBA is right for you? Is there going to be a tough competition since many people are out of jobs?
The fact is nobody could have predicted the current global situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. However, humans are resilient and it is far from the end of the world. There is no reason why you should not be optimistic about your personal and professional future. This post will attempt to explain why it is a good idea to invest in an MBA.
Earning an MBA during Covid-19 is a Great Idea
You need to understand that going back to school during the pandemic is not something you would do to pass time. It could actually have a long-lasting positive impact on your life. Earning an MBA will be a great way to weather the economic storm that is soon to come in the pandemic’s wake. Almost all experts agree that Covid-19 is going to lead to economic fallout triggering yet another recession.
Historically speaking, recessions have always led to a spike in demand for highly educated and trained workers. During the 2008 financial crisis, there was an upturn in MBA applications. The trend is expected to repeat itself in the oncoming recession. History proves that going back to school is a great idea even if the reasons and circumstances leading to the impending recession are different from the 2008 financial crisis.
However, like with every other important decision, you need to be sure about what you are doing. Which MBA is right for you? Should you opt for regular classes or part-time? You need to seek answers to these questions if you want to be successful in your MBA endeavor.
Recession and Education
You may feel skeptical about going back to school during economic uncertainty. It is going to add to your debt and may seem counterintuitive. However, getting an MBA could actually be the smartest move you make. Economic and higher education trends are indirectly related.
Over the years, when the economy has been on an upward curve, jobs have been abundant, and people have not really had to further their education.
However, a strained economy or recession puts pressure on companies and they want only the best candidates. Business schools over the years have observed that the state of the economy plays a major role in the decision to go back to school. Business professionals prefer getting an MBA to make themselves more attractive to employers.
There is a smaller risk of being laid-off or not securing work. The business world tends to get highly competitive during an economic downturn. Having an MBA can be an effective way to get noticed in an otherwise saturated market. Almost all businesses and companies understand the value of this degree. They prioritize professionals that have advanced degrees.
However, this is where you should think seriously about some important questions. Which MBA is right for you? Should you opt for an MBA in Finance or Human Resource Management? What should be your major? The program you choose could help improve your chances of gaining and keeping viable employment.
MBA Programs Are Expected to Change During The Coronavirus Pandemic
The whole world is changing and this is fast becoming a new normal. It is only common sense to believe that the way further studies are undertaken will change too. It is best to stick to schools that have a decent reputation and have been around for a long time.
Elite programs, like the M7 business schools, have the technical prowess and feasibility to adapt in extraordinary ways. This is owing to their deep financial resources, intelligence, and innovation.
You can expect other universities to take a cue from the top business schools. The M7 programs are expected to evolve with the changing environment and employ a host of in-house professors that will add profound value.
Rather than fearing change, you should embrace it. This is because as the class of MBA graduates in 2023 you will be trained to think, work, and adapt to the new economic setup.
In short, you will be well-equipped to handle the uncertainties ahead. There is a growing interest in MBA applicants about the kind of program they choose and the school they earn their degree from. Applicants have become more particular about the program and brand they invest in during the Covid-19 pandemic.
You should consider being a part of this movement. Ask the following:
- Which MBA is right for you?
- Which brand is right for you?
- How much are you ready to invest?
Suddenly, factors like test scores are becoming trivial. Instead, aspects like the resilience and character of an applicant are thought to affect admissions decisions. You should not let anything hold you back in aiming for the top programs.
Reasons to Go Back to School
There are several obvious benefits of opting to do an MBA right now. For instance, the more cautious or skeptical are expected to hold back now. These are a few other reasons for earning an MBA.
1. Pandemic Equates Less Competition
Competition is going to ease making it easier for you to get the program you want. This translates to enjoying better career prospects. Besides, most schools are doing everything in their power to ensure a smooth application process.
However, the current indecisiveness is expected to be short-lived among applicants. Business schools are already anticipating a boom in applications with the impending economic downturn.
2. Improved Career Path
Many business professionals turn towards furthering their education when it becomes difficult to achieve career progress or a job. This holds true during an economic slowdown as well. Earning an MBA during the pandemic could be a shrewd strategy to stand apart from the crowd. MBA applicants attain new knowledge and expand their skill set.
You can focus on your studies while the pandemic is raging and benefit from the economic recovery when you graduate. Rather than wasting your time trying to hold on to your current job, you could be taking real steps for improving your career prospects down the line.
According to a Bloomberg analysis involving MBAs from over 12 business schools around the world in 2010, 2011, and 2012, most applicants found well-paying jobs in accordance with their career trajectories despite the post-recession job market.
3. Learn from History
If economic slowdowns and meltdowns in the past have taught anything, it is to improve personal skill sets. Employers have a big pool of options when jobs contract. You need to protect yourself from uncertainties. Business schools have anticipated a significant rise in applications and are already gearing up for the influx of students.
However, they are confident that most students will apply only a few weeks before the closing date. This is because the majority of applicants are going to waste time thinking and then rethinking about the best course of action. Business schools have based their decision on clear historic patterns. As the economy worsens, MBA applications are on the rise.
It may be revealing to take a close look at previous crises and how they impacted business education as the world is in the throes of another crisis. The coronavirus pandemic is different from the 2008 financial crisis. In addition to the economic meltdown, government, businesses, and people are also up against a public health challenge.
There can be nothing better for you to do than to invest in your education.
Earning an MBA While Staying At Home
Several US cities are still under stay-at-home orders. You may wonder how to attend a business school if you are not allowed to leave your house. The fact is most business schools were already considering making a shift to online learning, even before the pandemic became a reality. You can choose between part-time and 100% online programs depending on your scale of movement.
For instance, you can apply to the University of Miami that offers a high quality, fully-online MBA program. You don’t need to worry about the curriculum. It is as rigorous as taught by world-class professors on campus. The long and short of it is that there are several options for you to choose from.
However, it is more important than ever for you to pay attention to the type of programs you select. So, which MBA is right for you?
Think Long-Term When Thinking About MBAs
It is important that you look at the big picture when deciding about getting an MBA. A degree never goes to waste in any economic situation. However, by earning an MBA, you could improve your chances of furthering your career prospects.
Consider the tangible benefits of attaining new skills and knowledge that come with earning an MBA. In addition, you also benefit from improved credibility among employers and peers, increased confidence, and self-discipline among others.