Master In Marketing Is Most In Demand Master's Degree
The Master in Marketing is booming in popularity, according to new GMAC research. Here are the most in-demand master’s degrees of 2021
The Master in Marketing is the world's most in-demand master's degree, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council's (GMAC) Application Trends Survey, with 59% of programs globally reporting an increase in applications in 2021.
Other specialized business masters in finance, accounting, supply chain management, data analytics, and information technology also saw increasing numbers of applications. There was similar growth in demand for the generalist Master in Management (MiM) degree.
Overall, 42% of business masters degrees saw an increase in applications in 2021, down from 67% in 2020 when business school applications soared after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Application growth fell mostly in the US and the UK, while there was large growth in the Asia Pacific region (68%) and Canada (80%).
Applications from international students have bounced back following the easing of restrictions on international travel, driving 55% of applications worldwide.
Here are the most in-demand masters degrees in 2021:
7. Master in Accounting
The Master in Accounting (MAcc) teaches skills and expertise aiming to help you land a role in the accountancy or finance sectors after graduation.
A MAcc degree can be a route into a top bank or a Big Four accounting firm, but you may have to complete a further Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) qualification before launching your career. Along with the highly specialized nature of the course, this often means demand for MAcc degrees is lower than other business masters.
In 2021, applications to MAcc programs grew by 32%—lower than any other program type—at a similar rate to levels seen before the pandemic and 2020’s application boom.
MAcc degrees are more popular among men; in 2021 male applications rose by 45% compared with 33% for women. They're also more popular among domestic candidates, domestic applications rose by 50% while international applications were far lower at 29%.
6. Master in Finance
A Master in Finance is a highly regarded specialized masters, offered by some of the world's most prestigious business schools. Graduating from an MiF can help you secure a job in lucrative industries like investment banking, consulting, asset management, and trading.
It's usually one of the hottest masters degrees—the MiF was the second most in-demand degree type in 2020—but demand fell sharply in 2021.
Finance is renowned as an intensive and highly demanding sector, which may be deterring applications as students choose industries with greater work-life balance. In 2021, MiF applications rose by a below-average 36%.
Masters in Finance were also more popular among domestic applicants (44%), than international (41%), and demand was higher among men. Male applications rose by 40%, while women rose by 36%.
5. Master of Supply Chain Management
The specialized Master of Supply Chain Management teaches students the fundamentals of logistics management, including procurement, packaging, storage, and dispatch of goods.
The importance of supply chains was shown during the pandemic when global supply chains were hit, causing widespread disruption and showing the demand for expertise in the sector. This may have contributed to the program's growing popularity. In 2021, applications for supply chain masters increased by 46%.
The survey shows the MSc in Supply Chain is more popular among female applicants. Applications from women rose by 50%, compared with 45% for men. It's also more popular among domestic applicants, whose application numbers grew by 50%, while international applications rose by 45%.
4. Master of Data Analytics
The Master of Data Analytics teaches students to use technical expertise and analytics skills to make data-led business decisions. The program has proved popular with students looking to kickstart a career in digital transformation and in 2017 it was the most in-demand masters degree.
But demand has fallen as more established programs like the MiM and MiF have incorporated data and analysis skills into their curricula. In 2021, the Master of Data Analytics is the fourth most in-demand business masters. Applications grew by 47%, which is lower than the growth rate seen before the pandemic.
The program sees more popularity with international students; international applications rose by 52%, with domestic applications trailing close behind at 44%. More men also applied to Masters in Data Analytics than women in 2021, with application numbers rising by 44% compared with 39%.
Most in-demand master's degree types in 2021
3. Master of Information Technology
Another program which focuses on preparing students for careers in digital transformation, the Master of Information Technology covers fundamentals of business along with specialist technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Masters of Information Technology are often STEM-designated. This is an added bonus for international applicants to US-based programs, allowing them to extend their optional practice training (OPT) period and stay and work in the US for up to three years without an H-1B visa after graduation.
This may explain the rise in popularity of Masters of Information in 2021, as overall applications rose by 48% and international applications grew by 57%, far outweighing domestic applications at 32%.
The program is also most popular among female candidates. Applications from women increased by 56% in 2021, while male applications grew by just 44%.
2. Master in Management
The Master in Management is often one of the most in-demand masters degrees. A MiM gives a holistic introduction to the fundamentals of business, covering topics including leadership, marketing, analytics, and finance and accounting.
As a generalist degree a MiM is a great way to launch your career across a wide variety of industries. It proves popular both with students who plan to specialize later in their career and those looking for a wider understanding of business. This makes the MiM the second most in-demand masters degree in 2021, with 49% of MiM programs reported application growth.
Demand for Masters in Management was driven by international applications, which rose by 51% and outstripped domestic applications at 29%. Applications for MiM programs are usually dominated by men, and male applications rose by 48% in 2021, compared with women's applications which grew by 38%.
1. Master in Marketing
Masters degrees in marketing combine elements of business with teaching on topics including communication, consumer behaviour, marketing management, and digital marketing strategy.
The Master in Marketing has consistently been among the most in-demand masters degrees in recent years. Programs can offer a wide range of job opportunities after graduation, and marketing graduates often earn competitive salaries.
In 2021, the Master in Marketing was the most in-demand master's degree, with 59% of Masters in Marketing reporting an increase in applications. This was driven largely by increasing demand from international students whose application numbers rose by 69%, while domestic applications were at 41%.
Applications to Master’s degrees in Marketing in 2021 were dominated by women. Female applications rose by 50%, while applications from men gained by 42%.
While the Master in Marketing is 2021's most in-demand masters degree, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice for you. The most important thing is to focus on which program best suits your career goals.
This list reveals which program types are the most competitive and where you may see the most diversity in your cohort. But you also need to consider other factors such as whether you want specialist skills or more generalist business acumen, how long you plan to study for, and which industries you'd like to work in after graduation.
By considering this list alongside the answers to those questions, you'll have a good idea of the best master's degree for you.