Written on 05 Oct 2014.

QS, the world?s leading higher and business education specialists has again published the findings of their MBA Applicant Survey, conducted upon over 5600 MBA applicants worldwide between February 2013 and April 2014.

The findings indicate the general trends in the MBA market including candidates’ aspirations which are determined by evolving micro and macroeconomic factors.

Some particularly interesting changes are noted in the report such as the number of female applicants overtaking the number of males in the USA and Canada, lowered and more realistic salary expectations post MBA and a broader diversity of applicants.

The top reason for choosing to pursue an MBA remains To improve career prospects while interestingly, to boost salary is down the list in 6th place. Consulting leads the career table in terms of desired choice of industry with the leading a 10 year career goal being Running own company.

France is the N°1 destination among non-English speaking countries with the top factor for the choice of location being the international recognition of qualifications. The top reason for choosing a particular school however is the availability of scholarships and financial aid.

As for the duration of the programme, the Europeans continue to favour the shorter, one year format whereas the generally younger North American candidates opt for the longer two year course. In all geographical regions except for Asia however, the average age of the MBA applicant is on the rise although this could also be due to the increase in Executive MBA programmes, allowing professionals to do their studies later in life. While age is on the increase, the number of year’s work experience is getting lower with an increase in candidates within the 0-4 years category.