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What are prospective MBA students looking for?  33% named the quality of the school (reputation, rankings and accreditation) as the main criteria for choosing an MBA programme. The most popular mode of delivery is full-time MBA (43%). Only 4% expressed an interest in purely online MBA programmes. The biggest motivation for pursuing an MBA for 22% is career progression. 50% hope to be able to fund their MBA through loans, grants and scholarships.

Read testimonials from four prospective MBA students. London, – The ‘MBA class of 2015’ survey on prospective MBA students’ preferences, conducted by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) during its accredited MBA Fair in London last week, asked prospective MBA students about their main criteria for choosing an MBA programme, their preferred mode of delivery, their main motivation for pursuing an MBA and the ways of funding their MBA degrees.

The MBA Fair attracted around 300 prospective MBA students from 15 countries, who evaluated MBA programmes presented by 28 AMBA-accredited business schools from UK and abroad and took part in the survey.

Almost 50% of the Fair attendees had over 6 years of work experience, and the majority came from Finance, Consulting and the IT sector.

33% are willing to pay for their MBA in the region of £10,000 – £25,000, and 30% are willing to pay more than £45,000.

The majority of respondents (33%) named the quality of the school (reputation, rankings and accreditation) as the main criteria for choosing an MBA programme, followed by price (16%), duration of the programme (12%) and campus location (12%). Other relevant factors included funding options, practical business nature of the programme and international curriculum focus.

The most popular mode of delivery is full-time MBA (43%), followed by part-time MBA (38%). Despite the ongoing debate on the relevance of online MBA programmes, only 4% expressed an interest in purely online MBAs, while blended learning programmes, containing both face-to-face and online sessions are growing in popularity (14%).

The biggest motivation for pursuing an MBA for the majority of the respondents (22%) is career progression. For 19% of those who took the survey, an MBA is still considered as one of the best routes for career change, while becoming a more effective leader (17%), becoming more skilled in multi functions, such as Finance, Strategy, Marketing and Operations (16%) and creating a platform for an international career (13%), closely followed.

50% of the respondents hope to be able to fund their MBA through loans, grants and scholarships, while 41% will fund it themselves. Only 9% of the prospective MBA students who filled in the survey hope to receive company sponsorship.

33% of all respondents are willing to pay for their MBA in the region of £10,000 – £25,000, and 30% are willing to pay more than £45,000

Testimonials
Richard Thomas-Pryce, who works as an Associate at Goldman Sachs, came to the Fair because he is interested to do an MBA in order to elevate his career. “I have been working in finance for four years and would like to move more into strategy. I am confident that going for an MBA is the right way to achieve that goal, as it will serve as the springboard to elevate my career”, he says.

Daniel Riahi, who is working in private wealth management and running his own creative agency specialized in animations, illustrations and design, has decided to pursue an MBA primarily so that he can optimize the way he runs his own business. “I expect that my MBA will teach me to become a well-rounded business leader. That is why I want a very practical MBA, the one which will help me in my everyday job”, says Daniel, whose main criterion for choosing an MBA programme is the reputation of the school.

Satish Bruno, who has 16 years of work experience and works as an Electronic Engineer for Cognizant Technology Solutions, is looking for an MBA because he wants uplift for his career. “I do not want to be left out. I lack the understanding of certain business elements, and that might prevent me from furthering my career.”

Giangerolamo Pirinoli, the owner of an IT management and business consultancy, wants to expand his company’s services into strategy. “I believe that an MBA degree will be a proper certification and a guarantee of quality of the consultancy services I provide. I am confident that it will also help build the business”, he says.

About the Association of MBAs (AMBA):
AMBA is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education and the only global MBA-specific Accrediting body. Established in 1967, it sets the global standard for accrediting MBA, DBA and MBM programmes. The Association currently accredits programmes in 214 schools in 70 countries worldwide. AMBA is also a professional membership association with thousands of MBA members in over 100 countries, connecting MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools and MBA employers worldwide.

For more detailed information on AMBA please contact Adela Papac, Head of Communications

Association of MBAs, a.papac@mbaworld.com Tel: +44 (0)20 7246 2674