Choosing a MBA Program: Where Tomorrows MBAs Live

by Laura Morrison, April 2014

map of where mba students liveAs it's likely you're applying to graduate school to advance your career, you may be interested to know where prospective students like yourself live while working toward an advanced degree. After all, knowing where they live and work can inform which graduate programs you end up applying to.

If a Master of Business Administration is your graduate degree of choice, you should know that the Graduate Management Admission Council recently revealed in which areas aspiring MBAs tend to reside.

Location varies from one focus to another

An MBA can prepare students for various types of work within the business sector. For this reason, it should come as no surprise to learn that GMAC's research, which comes from the annual Prospective Student Survey, shows the popularity of certain locations depends on individuals' area of interest.

For example, 40 percent of survey participants who plan to work in consulting reside in Washington, D.C., while 32 percent are in San Francisco. Of those who hope to work in technology after business school, 40 percent are in San Jose, Calif., and 26 percent are in Seattle.

A total of 37 percent of prospective finance and accounting professionals live in Charlotte, N.C., and 35 percent of these individuals are located in New York City. Meanwhile, 22 percent of tomorrow's manufacturers are in Detroit, 12 percent reside in Minneapolis and an additional 12 percent calls Cincinnati home.

"Workers in a variety of industries seek MBAs and other graduate business degrees to improve their job opportunities, increase their salary potential, and develop their business knowledge," said Michelle Sparkman Renz, GMAC's director of research communications, in a press release. "Our metro-level analysis of prospective students indicates demand for management education spans many industries, and it also shows which sectors are attracting these future managers and business leaders."

Where to launch a business

Do you want to earn an MBA so you can eventually start your own business? Then you may be interested in attending business school in or near a city that has a reputation for being friendly to entrepreneurs.

Forbes recently highlighted a few of these cities. San Diego took the top spot on the news source's list, with Denver, Austin, Texas, Seattle and Portland, Ore., rounding out the top five, respectively.

Of course, while all this information can certainly factor into your business school decision, make sure you enroll in an institution you believe will help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

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