Except during the great recession(2007-2009), the job prospects have always been favourable for MBA students. But with the coronavirus pandemic, the employment opportunities for MBA graduates crashed significantly during 2020, leading to corporates halting or cancelling their hiring plans. In some cases, the companies even revoked their internship and job offers that they had already made. The year 2021, however, looks promising for MBA grads, and a rebound in job opportunities and compensation is expected in the coming times.
Job Market Revival for MBA grads to Pre-Pandemic Level
The GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) recently conducted the corporate recruiter’s survey to understand the latest trends of hiring and compensation of MBA graduates in the year 2021. The survey was conducted from the employer’s viewpoint, and it highlights some encouraging insights and trends, as below:
- MBA hiring projections suggest a strong rebound in 2021(91%) to the pre-pandemic levels(92%), across key sectors and regions. 95% of recruiters from consulting sector are planning to hire MBA grads in 2021, which was 76% last year.
- A large proportion of recruiters(37%) expect a rise in demand for MBA grads in comparison to the year 2020(30%).
- The average compensation is also expected to rebound to the pre-pandemic levels, as indicated in the survey.
Looking at these figures, the overall prospects look great for the current MBA students and future aspirants too.
Specialisations that can Benefit Your Career in Post-Covid Times
While the world is slowly shifting back to normalcy, the job market is also much more vibrant, with ample opportunities, especially for MBA grads. Some of the management specialisations that can boost your career in a post-covid scenario are as follows:
- Entrepreneurship: When Covid initially started disrupting our normal routine, it highlighted many gaps and issues around us that needed to be addressed. Entrepreneurship is one area that prepares future leaders who can identify gaps and propose innovative solutions. While helping people to develop new skills, it also creates new job opportunities and revolutionises technology.
- Consulting: The corporates need to be robust enough to tackle challenging situations caused by covid. Consultants are hired by corporate houses to assist them in the analysis and problem solving of various issues at different fronts. An MBA degree in consulting can help you grab a lucrative opportunity in the job market.
- Data Analytics: One thing that covid has made us realise is the importance of preparedness for uncertainties. MBA in data analytics is a course that deals with collecting and processing raw data to provide insights, forecasting, and predictions. MBA grads specialising in data analytics can help corporates improve upon their awareness and readiness for forthcoming situations.
- Healthcare Management: Healthcare is one sector that has progressed even more during the covid crisis. Trained and self-motivated administrators for hospitals and other healthcare facilities are the need of the hour. The demand for such specialised MBA grads is expected to rise even more in coming times.
Dilemma to Choose Between Online and On-Campus MBA Programs
Most of the business schools offer 2-year full-time residential MBA programs as well as online or executive programs that can be completed at your own pace. Though both the programs have their benefits to offer, you need to gauge their suitability for you.
An online/executive MBA program is more suitable if you are a working professional and looking for a career jump in the same field post-MBA. You may consider full-time on-campus programs if you plan to switch from a different career into business. Many full-time MBA programs require you to take up internships during the first or second year. This is not the case with online programs since it’s likely that you are already in a job.
Also, standardised tests such as GMAT and GRE are not given too much weightage for admission to online MBA programs. Many business schools were lenient and offered waivers for these test scores during covid-19 and such trends are expected to continue in the future also.
If you are considering online MBA programs due to covid-related restrictions, experts suggest considering your circumstances and preferences before opting for a program. If you have already resigned or have been laid off or foresee a risk in your job, taking up an online MBA program amid covid is also not a bad idea altogether.
How Should the Applicants Make the Most of Post-Pandemic Opportunities?
- You need to figure out whether you wish to go for an online or offline MBA program and the specialisation you wish to pursue.
- Make a list of all the colleges you plan to apply to and their specific requirements, if any.
- Prepare for and take the GMAT, which is generally mandatory for all full-time MBA programs.
- Prepare the application and apply. Post-applying, stay positive and patient while the colleges complete their admission process. Meanwhile, you must continuously improve your application rather than just waiting for final results.
Gear Up and Take the First Step
If you plan to change your career to business management or look for a higher position in your field, you must consider taking up an MBA degree. Since the job market looks as promising now as before the pandemic, the timing looks perfect for MBA aspirants. Post-MBA, you can expect plenty of job opportunities to boost or give a fresh start to your career in the current scenario.