From Tech Layoff to Business School

by Stacy Blackman Consulting, Feb 27, 2023

Are you one of the more than 91,000 workers recently laid off from a tech industry job? If so, you may consider pivoting to pursue an MBA degree to enhance your skills and broaden your career opportunities. In response to these mass layoffs, several business schools have rolled out the welcome mat for this cohort of professionals just in time for round 2 deadlines. Here are some things to consider to make the transition from tech layoff to business school as smooth and successful as possible.

But before making any decisions, it's important to understand why you want to pursue an MBA degree. Is it because you want to change career paths entirely or because you want to level up in the tech field? Understanding your motivations can help you choose the right program and ensure you get the most out of your management education.

Request a free consultation with a Principal on the SBC team to discuss your potential MBA plans.

From Tech Layoff to Business School

There are many MBA programs to choose from, so you'll need to do your research. Consider location, tuition, curriculum, and job placement rates. You may also want to speak with alums or current students to get a sense of the program. The following schools have made special accommodations for this group of professionals.

MIT Sloan School of Management: Offering an extended R2 deadline of February 23, 2023. Sloan will require standardized tests and is for anyone who recently experienced a layoff—not only from the tech sector.

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business: Will waive the application fee for anyone laid off in the past six months, regardless of industry. Haas will also extend the R2 deadline for these candidates until February 2, 2023.

IU Kelley School of Business: Will waive the application fee for laid-off professionals and offer the opportunity to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement, too. The R3 deadline is March 1, 2023.

Kellogg School of Management: Was the first to offer test waivers for laid-off tech employees, but for the R2 deadline only. The R3 deadline is April 5, 2023.

Highlight Those Transferable Skills

Applying to an MBA program can be competitive, so you'll want to put your best foot forward. Fortunately, tech workers have a range of transferable skills that can be highlighted when applying to business school. These include:

Problem-solving: Tech workers often need to troubleshoot and solve complex problems. This is a valuable skill in any field.

Analytical thinking: Tech workers analyze data and make informed decisions based on that data, which is a vital skill in business.

Communication: Tech workers may need to explain technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, which requires strong communication skills.

Leadership: Many tech workers take on leadership roles and are responsible for managing teams and projects.

Adaptability: Tech workers may need to adapt to new technologies and processes on a regular basis. The ability to pivot and learn quickly transfers well to the MBA experience.

By playing up transferable skills in your application, you can demonstrate to business schools that you have the experience necessary to succeed in their program. While you might feel glum about your current employment status, know that MBA admissions representatives value resilience and character. So, explain your layoff situation with sincerity and transparency.

Remember, even though you've experienced a job loss, you've still likely had many career successes, too. Shine the spotlight on those aspects in your application, and show how they have prepared you for this exciting new chapter in your career.

Good luck!


Stacy Blackman Consulting is the only MBA admissions firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every M7 program and the elite European MBA programs. If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, we can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more.