02 November 2021 11:53:00 IST

India has the second largest MBA cohort in the world: GMAC study

But data shows that only 38.9 per cent of the degrees are held by women, lower compared to the global figures.

An estimated 23.4 lakh people aged 20 to 34 in India have Graduate Management Education (GME) degrees, the second-largest cohort in the world, and first-largest in Central and South Asia. Globally, of the 1.5 crore people aged between 20 and 34 who hold a GME degree, 15.6 per cent are Indians. India is only second to China, followed by the US, in the list of top 10 countries worldwide.

These findings come from a new report by The Graduate Management Admission Counci (GMAC), which owns and administers the GMAT exam, on “The Global Diversity of Talent – Attainment and Representation” released recently. It is a global study of diversity in GME and sheds light on gaps in race and gender. The report provides a global overview, seven regional outlooks, and separate reports for 69 countries with an estimated 25,000 or more people in the student-aged population of 20 to 34 who have attained a master’s degree in the subject of business, administration, or law.

Strong demand in South Asia region

As a major source of talent for GME, approximately 1 in 4 bachelor’s degree-holders worldwide in the fields of business, administration, or law, comes from the Central and South Asia region. The largest absolute numbers come from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — each seeing 28 per cent of its bachelor’s level degree-holders in these subject areas.

This is a rate higher than the global average of 26 per cent among graduates at the bachelor’s level. Bhutan and Sri Lanka also observe similarly high rates (28 per cent and 29 per cent respectively), suggesting strong demand from even some of the Central and South Asia region’s smallest nations.

Women trail behind

When it comes to women GME degree holders in India, only 38.9 per cent and nearly 9 lakh degrees are held by women. This is lower when compared to the 44.8 per cent figure observed globally. India and China don’t feature in the top 10 countries worldwide when it comes to the highest percentage of women GME degree holders.

Moreover, data shows that there is a blockage in the funnel for women to obtain GME degrees, observed by their decrease in representation from bachelor’s to master’s level study. More women than men choose their undergraduate study in the fields of Business, Administration, and Law (BAL). Globally, 26.4 per cent of bachelor’s degrees earned by women are in BAL, slightly higher than for men (24.6 per cent). At the master’s level, however, men (33.7 per cent) are more likely to earn master’s degrees in BAL than women (29.4 per cent). This trend holds true in India as well.