White Paper: Gen Z in the GME Pipeline: Explain Why It’s Worth It
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This White Paper presents findings from a new qualitative research study of Gen Zers from Germany, the United States, India, China, Peru, and Nigeria. Candidates share their attitudes, interests, and dreams alongside their motivations and barriers to pursuing graduate management education.
This report leverages a mixed methods approach, utilizing data from both qualitative participant responses and quantitative survey data. The findings shared are based largely on a new qualitative study conducted by GMAC™ across six key and emerging markets— Germany, the United States, India, China, Peru, and Nigeria—from December 2022 to February of 2023. In addition, this report includes data from GMAC’s 2023 Prospective Students Survey and a quantitative study of career development, internally referred to as Pathfinder. The Prospective Students Survey is an annual global survey of candidates interested in GME that aims to learn more about their application and enrollment decisions. The most recent report includes data collected throughout the calendar year 2022. GMAC’s Pathfinder research set out to explore the demand for a new career development proposition across five key markets (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and China) in three phases in April, July, and September of 2022. More information about the methodology of these studies is available in the report.

While some information collected by GMAC and from external sources will at times offer the opportunity to compare Gen Z to millennials, this report largely seeks to detail Gen Z’s hopes and goals without necessarily highlighting the differences between generations. This gives business schools a complete picture of the cohort, which the report complements with tactical marketing and recruitment tips based on the data. Each section considers a different dimension of how Gen Z think about GME and their future careers. The first section considers how their overall personal and societal outlook influence their educational and career plans. The second section looks specifically at what Gen Z want from business schools if and when they pursue a graduate business degree. The next section looks more broadly at how Gen Z define success in their careers and future goals. The final section offers key takeaways and tips for program, recruitment, and marketing leaders. The body of the report primarily draws global conclusions from the six markets represented in GMAC’s qualitative study, while the country profiles at the end of the report help tease out differences across markets.

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