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"The one thing that stood out was that more full-time programs in the U.S. are growing," said Michelle Sparkman Renz, the council's director of research communications. "It is a sign of a better environment when you see more people making that career change or go back to school."
It's a different story if you go the part-time or online MBA route. They saw a drop in growth this year.
GMAC's figures show more than half of these programs saw less interest. Just 29 percent received more applications than last year.
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Sparkman Renz believes work-life balance may have contributed to the dip. She said many working professionals have reservations about committing the time and energy to the classes.
Yet, employer funding stayed at the same level versus last year.
"We see employer demands for MBAs staying very high," said Sparkman Renz, adding employees holding MBAs make 40,000-dollars more a year, on average, than their peers without the degrees.