What to look for in an MBA program

The decision of whether to apply to an MBA program is a difficult one for prospective students and is seldom rash. But what really makes business professionals decide to take the leap into an MBA program?

The infographic below from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), gives a snapshot into the prospective MBA student and what’s trending.  According to this 2016 student survey, prospective MBA students begin considering a graduate program 2 years prior to applying and create their “short list” one year prior to applying.

But maybe the biggest question facing prospective students is why pursue an MBA degree?

According to the survey,

  • 27% of prospective students are seeking a higher degree to increase their skills and be more competitive in the job market
  • 17% have reached a plateau at work
  • 17% have a lack of knowledge in order to do their job.

So what influences prospective students when choosing an MBA degree?

MBA candidates are particularly influenced by course format, convenient class schedules, and proximity to home. Additionally,  57% prefer to study internationally and 35% are seeking international careers.

Take a look at the graphic below for more information.

Located in the metro Washington, D.C. area, George Mason’s MBA Program, prepares the next generation of business leaders through a rigorous, stimulating business and management curriculum based on a global perspective, industry demand, and leadership. It prepares graduates with the skills they need to pursue the career they want.

Mason’s MBA program is ranked #74 on the “Best Part-time MBA” list by U. S. News & World Report. Dedicated career services staff offers personalized career consulting services to students during the program and alumni after graduation.

MBA program considerations


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Paige Wolf

As director of graduate programs at George Mason's School of Business, my vision is to have a vibrant, collegial community of active learners who develop enduring professional relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students while pursuing their degrees. Prior to this position, I spent 11 years with the School of Business as an associate professor of management teaching both MBA and undergraduate courses in organizational behavior and human resource management. I have more than 16 years of experience as an internal and external consultant on strategic human resource initiatives including team building, organizational development, competency modelling, performance management, employee selection systems, career planning, employee training and development, leadership assessment, and human resource audits.

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