Who Is Pursuing an MBA? - Infographic
Traditionally, education was seen as an uninterrupted continuum moving from one tier to the next. Graduate high school, earn your Bachelor's, and then move on to your Master's, all in immediate succession.
While some students still follow that traditional path, it's increasingly common for students to transition several times between school and work – sometimes pursuing both at once – as more professionals realize that their need for knowledge has no age limit.
Today’s MBA Students are Older
At many of the top business schools in the country, younger MBA students with minimal work experience are becoming the exception, not the rule.
Analysis of 2012 MBA admissions data collected by Bloomberg BusinessWeek from a number of leading business schools shows the amount of professional experience students had prior to enrollment ranged from 25 months to 108 months – more than nine years' worth of work. MBA students' average age at matriculation was between 27 and 29.
Other research supports and expands on these findings. In fact, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2015 Application Trends Survey Report, 89% of executive MBA programs have six or more years of work experience.
Age Trends at Ashford
At Ashford, older students are even more likely to find peers their own age than the broader data suggests. At the graduate level, nearly 42 percent of Ashford students are aged 40 or older. In fact, Ashford has more older students pursuing graduate degrees than 22- to 29-year-olds enrolled.
Ashford students pursuing MBAs are even older. According to an internal analysis* of all MBA enrollment data at the Forbes School of Business® between 2010 and 2016, the median age for MBA students at Ashford is 38, a full decade older than the average at other leading business schools. Over the six-year timespan studied, a massive 71 percent of students enrolled in the MBA program were between 31 and 50 years old, while 15 percent were over 50.
Pursuing an MBA from Ashford University is often appealing to older students because the flexible, online program allows established professionals to stay with their current companies and continue to build seniority while in school. Online education also allows MBA students to pursue an advanced degree without completely disrupting their lives with a move or other major changes.
Another Ashford advantage is that the program offers students a more focused and accessible path to their MBA. MBA candidates can transfer approved credits toward their Master’s degree, and they must complete 14 six-week courses (42 credits). Classes are designed to build on each other smoothly and in succession, without making students wait for a new semester to start or have to worry about being wait-listed.
An MBA Can Open Doors
MBAs have access to expanded career options, as well. While a Bachelor's degree in finance may allow you to work at a bank, an MBA with a focus in finance can open the door to potentially more lucrative and mentally rewarding careers.
The same logic applies to earning a Bachelor's in marketing versus an MBA with a focus in marketing. The former gives you solid professional skills for an entry-level position. The latter can prepare you to run a marketing department or agency. For those looking to advance their careers, an MBA can provide the education you need.
There are number of great reasons to pursue an MBA at any age. Whether you want to develop a strong business acumen to launch your next big endeavor or earn the credentials to potentially land a promotion and bigger paycheck, you won't be alone in today’s business schools, whatever age you are.
Written by Ashford University staff
*Data retrieved on March 22, 2016 for any students that were active in the MBA program for any length of time from March 21, 2010 to March 21, 2016.