More than a dozen business schools in the US are targeting laid-off tech workers by making their admissions process less cumbersome
Following a slew of layoffs in the tech industry, some business schools in the U.S. have removed testing requirements or extended application deadlines, while others are offering admission counselling and even fellowships in the hope of enticing these individuals to enrol into their MBA programs.
In the second half of 2022 and 2023, thousands of tech workers were laid off globally, with over 199,000 people from more than 700 tech companies laid off in 2023 so far, as of May 24th, according to layoffs.fyi, a website which tracks job cuts in the tech sector.
Following the pandemic, the job market boomed in 2021, resulting in fewer MBA applications as more people opted to stay in full-time employment. Recently, these trends have reversed, and many business schools are trying to attract the best talent by relaxing their admission requirements.
Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, for example, offers a waiver from taking the GMAT to those laid off from a job after August 1, 2022.
Other schools, such as Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, have also offered testing waivers in some cases, while others, including The Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, have waived application fees and extended deadlines.
A recent advert from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School highlighted how some business schools are utilizing advertising to entice those experiencing a career setback into an MBA.
In times of economic turmoil, education becomes a more popular option. Following the 2008 financial crisis, applications to U.S. graduate schools increased by 8.3% from autumn 2008 to autumn 2009, according to the Council of Graduate Schools.
It’s therefore unsurprising to see many U.S. business schools openly courting recently laid-off tech workers. But it’s going to be interesting to see if these efforts will have a noticeable effect on the final MBA registration figures for the coming academic year.