Education Opportunity Translating into Job Opportunities

Most business schools today offer a variety of graduate management education degree options, MBA—delivered in part-time, full-time, executive, and online/distance degree format options to a range of specialized master’s programs. These changes in the business school market help illuminate what may be driving the shifts in who’s applying to GME programs and why application volumes on the “demand side” may be changing.

A growing share of GMAT exams is taken by individuals interested in non-MBA graduate management degrees in which a typical master’s degree candidate differs from a typical MBA candidate. Age is the greatest differentiator because younger citizens tend to exhibit the greatest interest in non-MBA master’s programs.


Chinese (65%) and Taiwanese (60%) citizens had the greatest share of exams taken by women in 2012.








Younger Talent:

GMAT testing by those younger than 25 was the greatest among Chinese citizens (81% of exams taken).

Test Taken:

The number of takers for GMAT exam by Asian citizens transcends 100,000 in TY 2012. This reflects the interest in the pattern of the exam due to the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section. Citizens of China and India combined represent 80 percent of regional testing volume in 2012, up from 65 percent in 2008.

Score Sending Pattern:

GMAT score sending patterns for all Asian citizens, who collectively sent a total of 354,996 score reports in 2012.

  • Chinese- 165,374 score report sent
  • Indian- 133,557
  • Taiwanese- 11,570
  • South Korean- 9,735
  • Japanese- 6,177







Asian Countries:


In 2012, the number of test takers of GMAT has reached 58,196, 45 % higher than previous year and 234 % higher than TY 2008. The share of exams taken by women grew from 60 % to 65 %, it is the highest in the region. Younger students below 25 years of age are the major test takers and it reached 81 %.

According to the last five years testing growth, which increased the share of GMAT scores, sent to the United States. Only 32 percent of scores sent were directed to MBA programs as it decreased from 50 % in 2008. This is basically due to a younger segment of test takers which are predominately interested in specialized master’s opportunities. The Top three score sending destinations were the United States, Hong Kong and Canada.


In GMAT exam, the total of 30,213 Indian citizens sat in 2012 which was nearly closed to the previous year and the share of women increasing slightly to 26 percent and the share of young examinees falling slightly to 36 percent.

Indians send score reports to business schools across several world regions, as the score report sent to the United States has fallen from 64 percent to 51 percent, due to the interest has grown for programs located in India, the United Kingdom, Singapore, France and Canada.

Education Opportunities:


Globally, the majority of MBA programs reported increased or steady application growth from domestic applicants. Full-time two-year MBA programs were the exception—only 42 percent of these programs reported increased (35%) or steady (7%) domestic volume. Applications from foreign citizens were a source of stable or increased volume this year across a majority of all MBA program types combined. MBA programs that reported the greatest percentage increase in foreign application volume include full-time two-year (45%), full-time one-year (47%), and online MBA (51%).

Women and management

In 2012, however, a greater percentage of MBA programs reported increased application volume from women compared with 2011, moving the percentage from 31 percent of programs reporting an increase in 2011 to 43 percent of programs in 2012. Regionally, across all MBA programs, full-time one-year MBA programs in Asia (Asia-Pacific and Central Asia) (combined) reported the greatest growth in female application volume in 2012 at 77 percent, compared with 32 percent of full-time one-year MBA programs in Europe and 47 percent in the United States. Master of accounting and Master’s programme in IT — saw an increase in the percentage of women compared with last year. While last year, 56% of applications for Master of Accounting programs were by women, this year it has surged to 59%.

While only 40% of applications for Master’s in IT were from women last year, the figure has gone up to 45% this year.

Foreign Candidate pool:

Worldwide, Indian, Chinese, and United States citizens accounted for the greatest number of foreign applicants to MBA programs for 43 percent, 27 percent, and 6 percent of MBA programs, respectively. Across all of Asia, 34 percent of MBA programs indicated that Indian citizens accounted for their greatest number of foreign applications in 2012.

Subject-wise analysis

After many years of strong application volume, only 48% of Master of Finance programmes and 39% of Master of Accounting programmes reported increased or stable application volume. This contrasts sharply, when 68% of finance master’s and 81% of accounting master’s programmes recorded rising or stable application volumes. Moreover, it is for the first time in five years that a majority of these programmes (53% of finance and 60% of accounting) have reported declining application volume.

Job opportunities:

Asia tops this year’s growth in demand charts with an increase in opportunities of 20% over the past year. The increasing emergence and recognition of the MBA in Asia has seen the number of equivalent opportunities soar. This year, the growth in the number of MBA jobs in India and China stand out in particular. The trend for Asian companies, both multinational and local, to seek out MBAs as they pursue global expansion continues and shows no sign of slowing down, with an even larger 38% rise in opportunities forecasted for the coming year.

Nowhere has growth in 2013 been larger than in China, which experienced an explosive 35% rise in MBA opportunities, moving from fifth to third position in terms of the volume of job opportunities.

Meanwhile, the huge year-on-year increases in MBA jobs in India that have taken place in the past few years continue, with a 29% increase, far in excess of last year’s 16% rise.

Elsewhere, there were notable rises in the number of jobs in Asia available to MBAs in South Korea, where the presence of big multinationals like Samsung and Hyundai has fuelled a 20% increase, and even in Japan, where companies have a history of sponsoring students to pursue MBAs at Western business schools, saw a rise in demand of 17% this year.

According to Ms. Ang, NUS Business School has seen student numbers rise as a direct result of the increasing opportunities on offer. She feels that Singapore, “is widely considered to be the gateway to Asia/ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations].”

Banks in China, along with expanding professional services and consulting sectors, have all played a large part in the overall picture. Indeed, such has been the demand for MBAs that the Chinese government has set about launching its own business schools to supplement graduates returning from schools in the US and Europe.






The MBA degree has always made an impact on students by its different diversions in academics, its new challenges while learning and it has given an immense knowledge of the world with its new pattern.

Job opportunities in Asian countries have increased for domestic citizens and also for foreign citizens. The trend is also changing as the year passed by all new technology coming in which increases the opportunities for new entrants.

Students are keen to their secure future which if they can get in the same country so there will be less students who will pursue their career in foreign countries. This can impact on the development and growth of the country as education is the most important sector which leads to success and it can be achieved by giving all the new talent a chance to grow and change the systems which will directly help the country.

Basically, opportunities are increasing for the students to continue their studies in their own country which will enhance the growth of the country and its education system.

Contributed by Nandita Mishra (Batch 2013, IBS Hyderabad)

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