What Happened to MBA Employment Rate After the Pandemic, and Is It Still Worthwhile?

“When Covid hit, I felt like I lost those MBA connections,” said the 30-year-old, adding that “a lot of us were going into the unknown in the fall. It was a difficult time for everyone.”

“Graduation arrived, but there was still no job,” says Bailey Thibodeux, a University of Mississippi MBA student in 2020. “A couple of  interviews, but no job offers.” Thibodeux eventually stopped looking for work and instead started her own business.

Another issue related to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on MBA careers is career choice, as many MBA graduates are unsure of their future career path following the pandemic. The Online Business at the University of Maryland illustrates the various MBA career paths for students who are unsure which to pursue. Accounting Careers, Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Information System, Business Analytics, and other MBA Career Paths are broadly classified by the University of Maryland. Accounting, as one of the most popular professions, necessitates communication, detail orientation, time management, computer, and accounting skills. Visit their website for more information.

It is still debatable whether an MBA is worthwhile. Having said that, according to the Columbia Business School’s 2021 Employment Report, 94 percent of the Class of 2021 students were offered jobs three months after graduation, a 4 percent increase from 2020. Another example is the University of Virginia, Darden, where 91 percent of the class was employed by graduation, with another year of record-breaking salaries, reaching $144,933 in 2021, an increase of $4,988. Surprisingly, 97% of MBA students received an offer within three months of graduation, with 95% accepting.

Lecture inside the Harvard Business School Photo: HBS1908 / Licensed Under CC BY-SA 3.0

What do others think of the MBA Benefits?

Harvard Business School has released the Faculty’s Advice for MBA Graduates — to Make a Difference in the World — for students who are struggling with their careers. Deepak Malhotra, a professor at Harvard Business School, advises forging your own path and quitting if what you’re doing, or pursuing doesn’t make you happy.

“Be willing to waste a few extra months or even years to find what you really want to do with your life,” Malhotra continues. “Those months and years may seem insignificant now, but in 20 or 30 years, they will appear insignificant — and they will almost certainly be the best investment you ever made.”

Aiyesha Dey, Associate Professor at HBS, adds some insightful comments. “The pandemic has made us even more aware of the world’s enormous need for connections and closeness,” — “No other business school can boast of such tight-knit cohorts, support networks, shared experiences and values, and deep lifetime friendships.”

In line with Dey’s advice, Senior Lecturer at HBS John Jong-Hyun Kim advises graduates to be open to unexpected encounters or forks in the road in their journey ahead — they may just lead to a better destination, so stay open-minded and curious.

In addition to HBS’s advice, the University of San Diego online introduces some MBA alternatives that offer faster and less expensive career paths.

  • Mini MBA Programs
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • MBA Certificate Programs
  • Online Accelerated Degree Programs
  • Entrepreneurship

Indeed, alternative MBA programs vary by school because many schools have their own distinct programs, so it is best to conduct research on their respective schools for more information.

The D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University also provides tips to help students perform better in an MBA program, one of which is to seek help; to not overestimate your potential growth and stifle it. Instead of expecting an MBA program to be beneficial, you should continue to pursue your interest by conducting additional research, such as contacting professionals in your field to learn more about how they achieve success. Work-life balance is important in all professions, not just the MBA. Setting a clear goal and prioritizing important tasks is critical for success in balancing your life outside of school, giving you time to do things other than MBA.

According to Wharton, one of the benefits of pursuing an MBA program is the opportunity to join a global network of nearly 100,000 alumni. Along with the announcement of Wharton benefits, Northeastern University also emphasizes one of the most important benefits as building relationships in the MBA program — such as career fairs or professional networking events. To students’ surprise, classmates, for example, may be the most valuable connections — you never know when you’ll be working under them.


Read More: The MBA Labor Market is on the Rise

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