Online MBA – Demographic Profile & Growth Trend

With a slowing economy, the demand for higher education has been on the rise since more and more people seek to hone their academic profile. Considering that the current physical infrastructure of educational institutions may not be sufficient to cater to this ever-growing demand, more and more universities are now looking at online courses to reach out to a wider base of students. According to the 2012 Application Trends Survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), over 66% of the surveyed institutions have reported an increase in applications to their online MBA program in 2012 compared to 2011. This is in stark contrast to the Full time courses where only 42% of the surveyed institutions have reported a growth in applications.

Demographic Profile:

Interestingly, domestic applications have shown a higher growth in demand compared to foreign applications. According to the report, over 45% of the surveyed institutions reported a growth in applications from domestic candidates where as only 41% of those reported a similar increase from foreign applications. The report also says that the number of applications from men was seen to have risen in the case of 45% of the institutions.

Most MBA institutions, including those offering full time conduct special outreach programs targeting specific segments of candidates to their programs. For example, an institution offering healthcare MBA might want to specifically target health professionals for their MBA program. The GMAC survey notes the following three segments as the most popular categories in the outreach programs conducted by online MBA institutions.

1. Working professionals
2. Military
3. Undergraduate students

Tuition Assistance For Online MBA Programs

GMAC also studied the kind of tuition assistance offered to these students. For online MBA, here is how the various options stacked up (numbers may not add up to 100% since some students may be offered more than one kind of assistance):

No assistance : 52%
Scholarships : 30%
Assistantships : 19%
Reduced tuition : 4%
On-campus work study : 4%


Here is a gist of the online MBA landscape as reported by the GMAC survey.

Work Experience

No experience : 6%
< 1 year : 4%
1-3 years : 13%
3-6 years : 24%
6-10 years: 25%
> 10 years: 30%


<= 22 years : 2%
22-25 years : 18%
26-30 years : 28%
31-34 years : 17%
35-39 years : 15%
>= 40 years : 19%

Geographical Location

Local : 32%
National : 58%
International : 10%


Male : 57%
Female : 43%


Domestic : 87%
Foreign : 13%