The recent plunge in oil prices has triggered a movement that might reach even the MBA market. According to an article in Forbes, the falling oil prices resulted in 21,322 lost jobs in January alone, the majority of which were seen in the energy industry. In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, MBA program admissions officers speculate that the issues in the energy industry might result in higher MBA application rates and thus a larger number of energy sector professionals entering business school in the fall. Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria told the WSJ last month that he has “been surprised by a sudden jump in applications from the energy industry.”
Given that application season is still under way, statistics for the possible increase are not yet available. The WSJ reports that Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, and the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business have all noted increased energy-sector applications. Now that oil prices have dropped by more than half since this past June and could possibly keep falling, only time will tell how MBA admissions will be affected.