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The Economic Downturn and MBA Programs

Things have been pretty crazy lately, so I haven’t had much time for blogging. One thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot, though, is what this current economic downturn will mean for MBA programs, particularly on the applicant side. I enjoyed my MBA program and there are two questions I’ve been pondering when it comes to the economic downturn and MBA programs:

Will it change who applies to and ultimately accepts offers to attend MBA programs? Investment management and consulting have accounted for roughly 40-50% of the MBA candidates at my alma mater for the classes of 2008, 2009, and 2010. I’m curious to see what folks in consulting careers and finance careers choose to do in this environment.

How will the current economy change career expectations for those who graduate from MBA programs? I graduated from business school in 2005. When I graduated, careers in high finance (banking, private equity, and hedge funds) were a pretty sure way to put oneself in the running for a fairly sizable economic windfall after graduation. The economic machinery supporting the big paydays in those industries appears to be relatively broken at the moment. In some cases, in investment banking in particular, you could argue that the structure that used to exist isn’t likely to return in the near future.

Thoughts? Share them in the comments.

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