Increase Demand for US MBA Programs

January 16th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

The economic downturn is evident worldwide. Even with signs of growth in many countries, the employment figures are lagging behind. Those individuals who have the ability will seek higher education as a way to build skills for the competitive job market.

One way people are doing this is by enrolling at a MBA program in the US. Many students and professionals see education in the US as one way to build connections, increase one’s skills, and develop a worldwide prospective. According to a recent report by Council of Graduate Schools, the increase demand for US MBA Programs jumped 6% over last year. Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that 33.4% of MBA programs are made up of international students. The primary reason for this increase was due to the number of Chinese applicants, followed by Taiwanese and Vietnamese.

The increase demand for US MBA programs has been helped by the increase in F-1 international student visas issued in the US. An increase of 54,000 visas were issued last year, totaling 385,210 visas. This increase in visas has been directly attributed with increasing the number of foreign students enrolling in MBA programs in the US.

This comes as good news to MBA programs in the US, who are competing with other higher education institutions from around the world. Because of the expense and difficulty of going to a US institution, many international students have been opting for schools in Canada or the United Kingdom. With the help of the Department of State, there has been a shift back to America where this year has been the largest increase in demand for US MBA Programs since 2007.

Cornell saw a 12% increase in their international enrollments in New York. On the western coast, University of Southern California saw that 75% of their one-year international MBA program was from Asia. This is just two of the many graduate programs seeing an increase in their international student numbers.

As economies recover, recruiting efforts expand, and the need for a business degree becomes ever more important, it is likely that this is the beginning of a trend for MBA programs in the US as long as the US State Department continues it’s visa policies for international students.

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