One of the best things going for your odds of admission to a top MBA program is a historically low unemployment rate.
As stressful as it is to be unemployed, it is equally blissful to have a good job on lockdown. Right now in the US, we are experiencing an incredibly low unemployment rate. No matter how you stand politically, you can’t argue with this reality. It’s a number we have not seen since the 1960’s and it’s causing all kinds of headaches for business schools.
B-schools thrive on having a deep pool of qualified candidates each year clamoring for coveted seats in their programs.
That pool is extremely shallow right now. Normally, competition fortop b-schools is good for the industry, because business school is all about merit-based qualifications. When the economy is humming, however, all these well-qualified business school candidates are happily and gainfully employed and much less likely to leave their jobs for two years. While it’s been a boon for part-time and evening programs, the stalwart two-year, full-time MBA programs, upon which the entire ranking of a school is based, are suffering.
For applicants, this is very good news.
Why? Because schools are now having to reconsider the hurdles they normally require for admission. While no school wants the quality level of their incoming classes to suffer, you will find in this environment a bit more leniency of things like GMAT score or GPA, as well as more a more generous fellowship and scholarship offering.
There’s been no better time to apply to business school in the past three decades.
The odds of admission are definitely in your favor like never before, but don’t get too cocky. Schools are only willing to relax their requirements so far before they risk a real quality dip which can impact the employability of the class and the level of and benefits of the classroom experience. No matter how small the class gets, schools know it’s not worth the long term risk to allow unqualified applicants to matriculate in the short term. They have worked too hard to breathe the rarified air of top-tier status. If you have good core qualifications, however, and a solid vision for why you want to go to school and why now is the right time, you’d be crazy to let this opportunity pass you by. So, while unemployment is bad news if you don’t have a job, it’s great news if you’re looking to apply for an MBA!