A new survey by the Association of MBAs and the Business Graduates Association has found that more than half of MBA students do not intend to return to the same job once they complete their studies. The survey, which actually aimed to understand how students are managing to balance their various commitments amid the pandemic, was conducted between March and May this year and covers respondents from around the world.
Within the 62 percent of respondents who said they plan to change jobs, 29 percent are planning to move to a different company and different industry, but with the same job function; and 33 percent are planning to move to a different company in the same industry, with a different job function. Only 16 percent actually said they would stay with their current company.
The possibility that MBA students are using their studies as a springboard to move on to a new position is somewhat substantiated by students' stated objectives in completing an MBA. 51 percent admitted their main reason for the MBA was to change career, while 49 percent said they wanted to help differentiate themselves in the job market.
At the same time, the larger majority of students are clearly out to expand their skills and knowledge. 70 percent said they wanted to "acquire more skills and knowledge about the business world", while 69 percent said they wanted to expand their area of expertise. Specifically, students were most interested in developing their business skills and people management skills. They were most likely to pursue topics such as general management and global leadership, with finance and strategy-related topics close behind.
David Woods-Hale, director of marketing and communications at AMBA & BGA and author of the report, observed that MBA students have a passion for lifelong learning, but they also have a "diverse set of views around their own ambitions".
On the downside, though, the survey also found that MBA programs may not have been able to meet the expectations associated with those ambitions, with respondents saying that the interactive and networking opportunities were fewer than expected—possibly due to COVID-19—and that the alumni and job prospects were also below expectations even before the pandemic.