More than ever, prospective students understand the value of an MBA degree and that is driving up applications. In addition, the growing needs of global businesses for well-trained managers who can grow into leaders are creating more demand for MBA graduates.
Last year was a turnaround year at many top schools in terms of placement. We saw a peak in the job market in 2000-2001, and we were not expecting the demand to return to that level so fast. Last year Tuck's placement statistics actually exceeded those of the peak year, so that compensation for the class of 2005 was at all time highs.
This year employment statistics will continue to increase-with virtually all first-year students getting paid summer internships and a high percentage of our graduating students with job offers upon graduation.
Like most schools, last year our application numbers were up for the first time in three years. This year our applications are up significantly and I think most other top schools are seeing strong increases in the quality and quantity of students applying. For Tuck this is the largest increase in applications we've seen in modern times, with applications from outside of the USA leading the way.
The monetary return on investment (ROI) of top quality MBA programs is unquestionably very high, but most programs have positive returns. A study of monetary returns published in the January/February 2005 issue of the AACSB's BizEd magazine titled, "The ROI on the MBA," concluded that there are substantial long term benefits to graduates with an MBA. The authors (Antony Davies and Thomas W. Cline) found that, "over the past decade, an MBA's average ROI has been three times the return on Treasury Bills, ten percent better than triple-A bonds, and four percent greater than the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)."
Of course, there is a lot more to career success than compensation. The full-time MBA also gives experienced professionals the opportunity to change their careers and to enter the global market place for management talent. Therefore, as both the monetary ROI and the psychic ROI become better understood the demand for top-notch MBA programs should continue to grow.