Attending Business School During a Recession

The global economy is in a state of flux, and the current recession has left many wondering about the value of investing in a graduate business degree. On one hand, some argue that a recession is the perfect time to go back to school, as job opportunities may be scarce and a graduate degree can give job seekers an edge in a competitive market. On the other hand, others argue that investing in a graduate degree during a recession is a risky move, as the job market may still be uncertain and the cost of tuition may be prohibitive.

Pros of Pursuing an MBA During a Recession

Scarce Job Opportunities: A Graduate Degree Edge

Standing Out in a Competitive Market

During recessions, widespread job losses are common, making the job market highly competitive. An MBA can significantly enhance a candidate's appeal to potential employers. Businesses often seek individuals with advanced qualifications, viewing them as better equipped to handle complex roles.

Potentially Lower Tuition Costs

Financial Aid and Negotiation Opportunities

Economic downturns can lead universities to offer more attractive financial aid packages and scholarships. Some students might even successfully negotiate lower tuition rates or waved fees, considering the prevalent financial constraints.

Expanding Professional Networks

The Power of Connections in Uncertain Times

Business school is a melting pot of professionals from diverse industries. This environment is conducive to building a robust network, which becomes particularly valuable during recessions when job opportunities often arise through connections.

Career Advancement in Challenging Times

Upskilling for the Changing Business Landscape

For those already employed, a graduate degree can be a strategic investment in their career trajectory. As businesses evolve to navigate through economic downturns, they value employees who bring fresh, educated perspectives.

Cons of MBA Programs During a Recession

Uncertainty in the Job Market

The Flip Side of a Competitive Edge

Despite the advantages of an MBA, the job market remains unpredictable during recessions. There are few recession proof jobs. Employers may be hesitant to expand their workforce, leading to fierce competition for available roles.

The High Cost of Education

Weighing Financial Burdens

The cost of an MBA can still be a significant financial strain for many. MBA students often have to take on considerable debt, adding to the economic uncertainties of a recession.

Shifting Job Prospects

Navigating Varied Industry Impacts

Different industries respond differently to economic downturns. It's crucial to research the job prospects in your target industry before applying to business school, as some sectors may be more adversely affected than others.

Potential Career Disruption

The Cost of Time and Relocation

Attending business school, especially during a recession, can disrupt one's career path. It often requires taking time off work, possibly relocating, and managing other personal commitments, which can be challenging.


Deciding to pursue an MBA during a recession is a decision fraught with both opportunities and challenges. It's essential to carefully assess the pros and cons in relation to your personal and professional goals. Thorough industry research, a solid financial plan, and a clear understanding of how a graduate business degree aligns with your career aspirations are key to making an informed decision.

January 23, 2023

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