What motivates a Masters student?

19 May 2021

Understanding what drives a prospective student to consider studying for a pre-experience Masters degree can enhance the effectiveness of marketing and conversion activity at a business school. This year’s Tomorrow’s Masters report, published with EFMD, found that the traditional reaction to a time of economic crisis is in full flow in the Masters degree market with just over half (52%) the respondents planning to study because they are concerned that there are fewer jobs for new graduates than before the pandemic.

Students understand that adding in-demand skills to their undergraduate degree will make them more attractive to employers in what they hope will be an improving labour market in a year or two. However, for many prospective students Masters study is more nuanced with different elements contributing to their desire to improve their employment prospects.

Asked directly what is motivating them to study for a Masters, the lead choice among prospective students is to improve employability, selected by 28% of the respondents. However, just behind is a desire for international experience, chosen by 27%. Improving earning potential is selected by 24%, but is not as prominent as it is with MBA candidates, while 23% want to update existing skills and 22% are keen to build a professional network.

A smaller, but still significant group, are focused on using their studies as a springboard to start a business, an option selected by 17% of the study respondents, with 28% of this group planning to start their business while still studying. Schools that can build international experience and entrepreneurship opportunities into their Masters will be well positioned to attract the growing numbers interested in these degrees.

To discover more about tomorrow’s Masters students, join us for a free webinar with EFMD at 12noon (UK time) on Thursday 3 June. You can sign-up here. 

You can also read more on the EFMD blog and purchase a copy of the full report here.


Photo by Donald Tong at pexels.com

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