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More Students Looking to Enter Business School at a Younger Age



By Chris Hassan
Posted February 16, 2012 08:02 PM

Business school students are getting younger.
Business school students are getting younger.
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), creator of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), recently released its 2011 World Geographic Trend Report for GMAT Examinees. Based on data that was collected from those who took the assessment between 2007 and 2011, prospective Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree students have changed quite a bit in recent years.

One of the most noticeable differences in today’s GMAT-takers is the fact that many of them are younger than the degree seekers of the past. According to the report’s worldwide figures, 37% of those who took the test were under the age of 25 in 2007. In 2011, this number increased to 44%. Meanwhile, 21% of GMAT-takers were over the age of 31 in 2007. This percentage has since dropped to 16%.

In the U.S. alone, the number of GMAT-takers between the ages of 25 and 30 remained unchanged at 41% from 2007 through 2011. At the same time, those under the age of 25 increased from 40% in 2007 to 41% in 2011, while those over 31 decreased from 20% to 18%.

"The GMAT pipeline as it relates to prospective MBA students is almost entirely different today than it used to be," said Alex Chisholm, GMAT’s senior manager of statistical analysis, as quoted by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

While many MBA degree seekers choose to gain professional experience in between earning their bachelor’s degree and applying to business school, some institutions are catering to those who wish to enter graduate programs sooner.

Harvard Business School (HBS) is one of these institutions, as students can apply for a spot in its 2+2 Program. According to the school’s website, those who are accepted to this track spend two years after college working a HBS-approved job, and then an additional two years taking MBA courses.

Meanwhile, the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola University Maryland offers a 12-month program called the Emerging Leaders MBA, according to the school’s website. The average age of students enrolled in this track is 24, and 60% are immediate college graduates. Furthermore, these individuals have anywhere between zero and seven years of professional experience.

"These students are looking to jump-start their careers," Karyl Leggio, dean at the Sellinger School, told The Wall Street Journal. "We provide real-world experience to help accelerate their careers. It's sort of internships on steroids."

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