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Amid rising Covid cases, MBA aspirants plan study abroad, women prefer online learning: Report

International candidates continue to look to the US as one of their top three choices to study business abroad. Prospective students from India rank the US as their top choice, ahead of their home country, while those from Canada and the UK pick the US as their first international destination, the report reveals.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 3, 2021 12:26:33 pm
scholarship 1200Students still prefer US and UK for MBA courses. Representational image/ gettyimages.in

Despite rising Covid-19 cases, business schools aspirants still want to study abroad, according to new Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) research released today. The concern about Covid-19 declined from 41 to 33 per cent while three in four (73 per cent) international candidates planning to pursue an MBA outside their country are not changing their original plans.

Over 40 per cent of international candidates surveyed want to work outside their country of citizenship. The opportunities to live and work abroad explain why international candidates (70 per cent) are more likely to report that they are not changing their original plans compared to domestic candidates (52 per cent) amidst a global pandemic. Most international candidates, therefore, do not prefer substituting in-person experience with online learning.

Women prefer online learning

While studies and surveys have suggested that the impact of the pandemic has been particularly severe on women as they were burdened with more responsibilities of remote education and work, the GMAC report has found that many female candidates are willing to adapt their plans for higher education. Specifically, women candidates are more likely to seek the flexibility of online learning than men.

Read | Five Indian colleges in top 100, ISB offers best course in country: FT Global MBA ranking 2021

They accept a higher proportion of their degree to be completed online and are more likely to agree that career opportunities gained through an on-campus graduate business degree are the same as those gained through an online degree, according to a new report published today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC™).

“As vaccines become increasingly available, prospective students around the world are seeing light at the end of the tunnel regarding the global pandemic,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “It is especially encouraging to find female candidates seeking advanced business degrees for career advantages despite the unique challenges and barriers they face due to COVID-19.”

Upgrade your skills

Moreover, due to the economic crisis, nearly 58 per cent of candidates want to pursue a graduate business degree, over a third of the prospective candidates (37 per cent) reported that they are seeking GME now because they “want to apply for a job but lack required skills and/or degree to be competitive.”

“COVID-19 has fundamentally disrupted the future of work and the skills that are required for future success,” said Soojin Kwon, Managing Director, Full Time MBA Admissions & Program at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and GMAC Board Director. “This is something that business schools are fully aware of and adapting to as candidates seek to upgrade their professional and leadership skills to meet the demands of the rapidly changing workplace.”

US, UK remain top destinations for international students

International candidates continue to look to the US as one of their top three choices to study business abroad. Prospective students from India rank the US as their top choice, ahead of their home country, while those from Canada and the UK pick the US as their first international destination, the report reveals.

MBA aspirants from Greater China find the United Kingdom (27 per cent) to be their preferred study destination, followed by the United States (21 per cent) and Singapore (12 per cent). Rising tension between the US and China in recent years may have discouraged prospective Chinese students from coming to America for their advanced degrees, coupled with the growth of high-quality business school programs in China and the Asia Pacific region.

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