Those earning graduate degrees in business and management last year faced a receptive job market, as 92 percent of 2012 graduates surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Council were employed three months after graduation. That’s six percentage points higher than class of 2011 graduates surveyed at the same time the year before in GMAC’s Alumni Perspectives Survey.
In addition, some 77 percent of the class of 2012 graduates surveyed said their starting salary met or exceeded their expectations, and 76 percent said they could not have gotten their job without their graduate management education. The 13th annual survey of 4,444 MBA and other graduate-level alumni was conducted by GMAC, which administers the GMAT entrance exam for graduate business and management programs worldwide.
“As the economy improves in many parts of the world, employers who are hiring look for skilled managers to lead the way,” says Dave Wilson, GMAC president and CEO. “MBAs and other graduate degrees provide the skills people need to manage tough problems in today’s complex marketplace.”
A variety of factors affect compensation, such as pre-degree salary and experience, industry and job function, and median salaries of the class of 2012 showed significant differences by program type. For example, those graduating from full-time two-year MBA programs had a median salary of $85,000, with additional compensation of $10,000, whereas those graduating from full-time one-year MBA programs had a median salary of $59,000 with additional compensation of $5,500 (age, program location, and work location are confounding factors). Median starting salaries of 2012 graduates varied most widely by work location (shown in US dollars):
- Europe: $105,120
- US: $83,000
- Canada: $81,443
- Asia Pacific Islands: $52,329
- Latin America: $48,557
- Central Asia: $27,818
The 834 members of the class of 2012 were among the 4,444 graduate business school alumni from the classes of 2000-2012 surveyed about their work life and career trajectories in the global longitudinal survey. For all alumni from the classes of 2000-2012:
- 96 percent were employed, up two percentage points from last year. Some 89 percent were working for an employer and 7 percent were self-employed.
- Self-employment rates varied greatly depending on where alumni operated their business, ranging from 5 percent of those with businesses in the US to 20 percent of those working in the Middle East and Africa. Self-employment rates were 6 percent in Asia/Pacific Islands, 11 percent in Europe, and 13 percent in Latin America.
- Overall, 60 percent of alumni took out loans to pay for their education, but the proportions varied by program type, with 67 percent of full-time MBA alumni, 50 percent of executive MBA alumni, 48 percent of non-MBA specialized master’s alumni, and 47 percent of part-time MBA alumni taking out loans. Although more full-time MBA alumni have taken out loans compared with all other business school alumni, they also report the highest percentage of loan repayment and were least likely to express concern about their ability to repay their loans based on their current financial situation.
- Alumni continue to value their degrees highly, with 95 percent rating the value of their education good to outstanding. Top career outcomes driving the value of their education were: increasingly challenging and interesting work, developing managerial and technical expertise, being able to start their own business, and increased professional network.
- Using their leadership skills, thinking analytically, planning strategically, and solving problems are the key drivers of alumni job satisfaction.
The GMAC 2013 Alumni Perspectives Summary Report is available at gmac.com/alumniperspectives.