News from GMAC: New MBAs See Better Job Market as Employers Turn Focus to Growth

We are proud to have partnered with GMAC once again on their annual Corporate Recruiters Survey. Thanks to all of our member schools who participated!

With graduation season rolling into view, students about to finish business school have an especially good reason to celebrate: The job market for people with management education degrees has improved—and employers expect conditions to get even better during the months ahead, according to the results of a pair of annual international surveys released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

The research from GMAC shows that more business school graduates have been able to find jobs before finishing their studies this year compared with the class of 2010. Moreover, companies are increasingly turning their attention to growing their operations—and bringing on new employees—after years of riding out rough economic conditions, GMAC researchers found.

“There is a clear connection between the optimism employers are expressing and the improving job prospects business school graduates are seeing,” said Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer of GMAC. “Organizations need smart managers to deal with challenges—and they rely on them to seize opportunities.”

GMAC is a global association of top business schools and owner of the GMAT exam, used by more than 5,000 graduate management programs around the world as a key part of the admissions process.

In a particularly encouraging sign, more than half (54 percent) of job-seeking respondents to GMAC’s 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey had at least one job offer at the time the research was conducted in March—weeks before graduation. By comparison, just 32 percent of respondents to the survey last year who were looking for employment had landed an offer.

Salaries are also on the rise. For example, graduates from two-year full-time MBA programs reported a 73 percent increase in their post-degree base salary compared with what they earned before beginning their studies, on average. This is an increase from the 64 percent average salary boost seen by their peers in the class of 2010.

Underlying the strengthening job market for MBAs is an overall sense among employers that the economy has stabilized enough that they can focus on growing their businesses, according to GMAC’s 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey. In fact, 67 percent of employers represented in the survey expect to hire new MBAs during the coming year, up from 62 percent in 2010 and 50 percent in 2009. New hires in the United States can expect to earn an average base salary of $91,433, up from $89,141 last year and $86,299 in 2009. Explore an interactive graphic with additional data from the survey.

Companies appear to be shifting their overall goals. Fifty-eight percent of employers said expanding operations represents a key priority for their firms, up 10 percent from 2009. Meanwhile, just 36 percent of participants in the survey said their organizations were focused on overcoming economic challenges, down from 49 percent of respondents in 2010.

The 2011 GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey reflects responses from 4,794 graduating members of the class of 2011 at 156 graduate business schools worldwide. Visit gmac.com/globalgrads for a report about the survey findings.

The 2011 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey includes responses from 1,509 employers from 905 companies in 51 countries. GMAC partnered with the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the MBA Career Services Council (MBA CSC) to develop the survey. A summary of the survey results is available at gmac.com/corporaterecruiterssurvey.

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