While the COVID-19 crisis has been challenging for everyone in the workforce, it’s had a disproportionate effect on female-dominated industries. A McKinsey & Company analysis on COVID-19 and gender equality shows that female jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable than male jobs. Although women make up 39% of global employment, the report found that they accounted for 54% of overall job losses due to COVID-19. Whether or not the pandemic has left you unemployed or underemployed, you may be wondering what you can do to get ahead as the economy recovers. While the economy has partially rebounded, the Federal Reserve’s rate-setters predict that unemployment will not reach its pre-pandemic rate of 4% until 2023 (which aligns perfectly for applicants planning to begin their studies in 2021). In an MBA Right for You? As the economy bounces back, furthering your education is an important step you can take to advance your career. Female MBAs typically see pay gains of 35-40% of their pre-MBA salary at graduation. Within five years of graduating, these pay gains increase to 55-65% of their pre-MBA salary. Statistics on female enrollment in MBA programs are also encouraging. In 2005, only three business schools had MBA programs with more than 35% women. Now, 19 schools have hit the 40% mark in female enrollment. In addition to increasing your earnings potential, an MBA can be a great option for many professionals looking to advance within their initial career or make a career change. Find out more about the value of an MBA. When Is the Right Time to Pursue an MBA? Once you have decided that an MBA is the right degree, you may be asking yourself when the ideal time is to apply. Spending two years in business school is a great way to ride out the current economic environment. This is especially true for candidates who meet any or all of the criteria below. 1. You already have 3-4 years of work experience. On average, MBA applicants have around 5 years of pre-MBA experience at the time of enrollment. Once you have 6 or more years of experience, your chances of acceptance start to decrease slightly each year. Likewise, odds of acceptance do not increase significantly between 4 and 5 years unless your job position drastically changes. It is also worth considering that you may not gain admission the first time around, especially if you apply to only a small or narrow list of schools. The longer you wait to apply, the greater the chance that you will miss the opportunity to give your dream school one more shot by reapplying. 2. You have outgrown your current role. If your work is no longer engaging and you feel there is very little (or nothing) left to learn in your current position, this is a key sign that now may be the time to consider an MBA. If you think you are close to plateauing at work, now also might be a good time to apply. Remember that it will still be another 10 to 12 months until you are likely to start classes. 3. You want to switch careers. While some people change industries or functions pre-MBA, the best time to switch is post-MBA. If you know you want to transition from marketing to consulting or consulting to consumer goods, why wait to start your MBA studies? If you have decided that now is the right time to pursue an MBA, check out this MBA Application Plan to find out how to get started on your MBA applications today. Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading ranking sources. We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and interview preparation. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and M7 admissions interviewers. Last year, our clients earned over $5.5M in scholarships! Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!