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One-year MBA overtakes two-year version as the most popular

The one-year MBA has overtaken the two-year model as the preferred choice of today's generation of MBAs.

Results from the latest QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey 2010 show an unprecedented turnaround in MBA program length preferences over the last three years. In 2008, only 40% of MBA survey respondents worldwide preferred the one-year model, compared to 48% who favoured the two-year version. In 2009 it was neck and neck but in the last year the short form has triumphed over the long. 48% of prospective MBAs now want to do a one-year program with only 38% considering taking the qualification over two years.

Nunzio Quacquarelli, Director of the QS World MBA Tour says, “This is a significant moment in the development of the MBA,” he says. “The two-year model, originating from the USA, has always dominated, but these results suggest that it is the flexible 10-18 month version, with its European roots, that is more appealing in this uncertain economic environment.”

North America (US and Canada) is the only region which prefers the two-year model. What's more, the QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey 2010 also reveals that an increasing minority of North American applicants are opting for one-year MBAs, a trend that business schools are witnessing. Even stalwarts of the two- year model in the US, such as the Kellogg School, have introduced a fast-track 12 month MBA in response to this trend, begging the question: "Is the two-year MBA in permanent decline?"

“US applicants are much more interested in exploring one-year options,” agrees Alice Huang  director of recruitment (West Coast) at Hult International Business School, a US-based school with a long-established one-year MBA. “We have seen a definite spike in interest in the last twelve months.”
“There is no longer a one-way flow of MBA applicants into North America,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli. “North American MBA applicants are heading to European business schools in growing numbers, and are beginning to look at Asian schools as well.”

Young professionals considering an MBA will be able to meet admissions directors of up to 70 top US and international business schools to discuss MBA course length options, return on investment and potential career outcomes at the upcoming QS World MBA Tour. Registration is currently open at www.topmba.com.


QS World MBA Tour   

The QS World MBA Tour is the world’s largest series of recruitment and information fairs for business school applicants. In 2010, over 60,000 MBA candidates registered to visit 85 events in 66 cities in 42 countries.

The QS World MBA Tour offers a unique opportunity to meet admissions officers of the world's most influential business schools at venues around the world. Now in its seventeenth year, the Tour will consist of 83 events across 42 countries over five continents during 2011. 

QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey

The QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey 2010 is the largest survey of the mindset and aspirations of MBA applicants ever conducted, continuing the annual research undertaken by QS, the world’s leading education specialists, since 1990.

The 68,000 applicants who registered for the QS World MBA Tour in the fall of 2009 and spring 2010 were surveyed and responses received from 3,895 (5.7%). Those surveyed were primarily young professionals, but also included many more experienced executives.

The results provide detailed insight into the status, attitudes, goals and ambitions of MBA applicants worldwide and how they, and the employment and education markets for young professionals, are changing. This survey allows valuable insight into the changing trends of worldwide MBA applicants.

For further information: Vickie Chiu PR Manager +44 (0) 207 284 7292 [email protected]

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