B-School Chart of the Week: Why Do You Want an MBA?

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. Now the results are in, and for those who are curious about their fellow applicants’ views on business school, we will be sharing some of the collected data in our B-School Chart of the Week blog series.

A common question business school candidates encounter both in their personal lives and as part of the application process is essentially “Why do you want (or need) an MBA?” So we naturally included this query in our informal survey of site visitors earlier this year.

The majority of respondents—43.6%—said they planned to attend business school to change their career path. This seemed generally in line with what we saw last season, when we asked candidates whether they planned to change careers or return to their already established profession. The results for that question were split evenly, with each option accounting for 50% of the responses.

To “improve business skills” was the second most common response, with 38.5% stating this intention. A much smaller proportion of respondents, 10.2%, cited the desire to expand their professional networks as their main reason for getting an MBA, and although conversations about business school often turn to the topic of salary, only 5.2% of those in our survey pinpointed “make more money” as their primary motivator. Similarly, just 2.6% indicated that they were pursuing the degree to advance in their current profession.

Reason for MBA Chart

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2020–2021 MBA Essay Analysis

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