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Is 2023 a good time to go back to school for an MBA degree?

Before we try to answer this question, let's look at what business and academic leaders had to say about the job market and the economy during the pandemic. According to Harvard Business School Professor Mihir Desai, "The job market is recovering and should continue to do so as more and more people are vaccinated and the economy reopens.” This sentiment is echoed by Michael Droesch, Dean of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, who states that “The job market is strong and will continue to grow, especially in industries related to technology and healthcare.” In 2023, these gains seemed to have been significantly lost as key sectors especially the tech industry have been laying off tens of thousands of employees.

In addition to these expert opinions, let's also examine data from the last three recessions in the United States to see if there is any evidence to support the idea that 2023 is a good time to go to business school. A quick check from past U.S. recessions show that the job market tends to recover much faster for individuals with advanced degrees, including MBAs. In fact, during the last recession, MBA graduates experienced lower levels of unemployment and were able to secure higher paying jobs more quickly compared to those with only undergraduate degrees.

However, while an MBA can certainly be beneficial in a job search, it's not a guarantee of employment. The job market is highly competitive, and an MBA from a reputable business school is just one of many factors that employers consider when making hiring decisions. That being said, 2023 may be a good time to go to business school for several reasons.

With the current challenges in the U.S. economy, many businesses are expected to decrease their hiring and investments in the short term. Since most full time MBA programs are two years, they provide ample time to learn new skills to help you achieve success at work. During this period, you also give the the labor market the required time to pick up. As the economy improves, the power dynamic would shift from employers to employees and having an MBA would be a prized asset. An MBA provides the skills and knowledge need to adapt and succeed in this dynamic environment as the business world changes rapidly.

In conclusion, 2023 may indeed be a good time to go to business school. An MBA can provide individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today's dynamic environment. As Wharton's Former Dean Droesch explains, “Getting an MBA is not just about getting a job, it's about developing the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the business world, regardless of the state of the economy.”

Our Editor’s take is that 2023 is definitely a good time to take a career break and go to Business School.

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