B-School Applicants Decline: Damn Shame or About Time?

Posted September 28, 2012 by

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroadsBy Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

The B-school numbers are in and they aren’t pretty according to this recent WSJ article by Melissa Korn. 69% of the F/T, two-year MBA degree programs in the US experienced significant declines in 2012 while 79-80% of the schools in Asia (Pacific Rim and Central Asia respectively) experienced gains. Globally the drop-off is 22% after a decline of 10% last year.

While some of this can be attributed to a return to normalcy after significant gains by B-schools during the financial crisis, you also have to wonder about the continuing value of the product exiting the many hundreds of schools granting these degrees.

Most of these newly minted graduates are hired on their potential. (Some were sent to these schools in the first place because of their performance in the firms that sent them, but we’re not talking about these folks – they had jobs all along.)

This idea of potential unrealized (and unnecessary) was first described by Peter Cappelli at Wharton a few years ago in this article, High-Potential Dilemma. Perhaps more firms are recognizing that their business is driven by performers and rewarding potential over performance has downsides with lots of unintended consequences.

Factoid: Gender Differences

What % of Women MBA graduates are working full-time 10 years after graduation? Is it

  • a) 25%
  • b) 50%
  • c) 75% or, the same as men
  • d) 95%?

Source: University of Chicago, Booth School of Business via HR Executive Magazine. Answer: 50% (b).

– Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler work full time consulting, educating and discovering how talent and opportunity connect through emerging technology. They can be reached via email at mmc@careerxroads.com, phone at 732-821-6652, or on-line at http://www.careerxroads.com.

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