Indian students aspiring to study abroad continue to prefer the MBA, but demand for non-MBA business master’s courses such as global management, marketing, entrepreneurship and data analytics is increasing, a survey by GMAC, owners of GMAT, has revealed. Top industries the survey respondents want to work in for postgraduate employment are consulting (46%), products and services (30%), finance and accounting (28%), and technology Most importantly, what’s weighing heavily on young minds is the thought of money required to study for the obviously very expensive programmes.
GMAC’s analysis in the 2017 mba.com (its official website) Prospective Students Survey Report is based on responses provided by 11,617 individuals registered on mba.com between February and December 2016.
Within 2009 to 2016, the number of candidates considering only MBA programmes fell from 61% to 57% . Within that period, non-MBA business master’s programmes, grew by 4% to 10%. Demand for the master’s, which were specialised degree programmes increased for master’s in global management (17%), entrepreneurship (15%), data analytics (14%) marketing (13%) and supply chain management (10%).
Interestingly, non-MBA business master’s programmes attracte younger candidates with little or no prior work experience, interested in acquiring technical skills. MBA candidates have more years of work experience and seek managerial and leadership skills.
About 21% those seeking non-MBA business master’s already hold a master’s degree, more than half (54%) in a business-related field. About 72% master’s degree holders were also considering MBA programmes.
Different career paths targeted, but preferences are changing
Top industries that the respondents want to work in for postgraduate employment are consulting (46%), products and services (30%), finance and accounting (28%), and technology (28%). Job preferences include marketing and sales (43%), consulting (34%), and finance and accounting (32%). Interest in each of these industries and job functions has increased since 2009, with the exception of the technology industry, which has declined slightly.
Most candidates (39%) can also switch careers at the drop of a hat and move to a new industry or job function. About 34% f candidates in India are aspiring entrepreneurs and 27% are career enhancers (27%), who seek to grow in their job by developing their technical expertise.
Where’s the money going to come from?
The most important deterrent for students wanting to go abroad for studies was the cost of a graduate business education. About 55% respondents indicated they did not have enough money available to pay for their education. Fear of taking on large debts also prevented 55% from pursuing a graduate business degree.
When compared with 2009 figures, candidates, on average, said they expected to cover a greater share of the cost of their education with grants, fellowships, and scholarships and parental support. A comparatively smaller number said they would take loans or depend on personal earnings and savings.