Highlights from the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Every year the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®) has partnered with MBA CSEA, EFMD, and universities around the world to conduct the Corporate Recruiters Survey. This annual survey asks employers who recruit from and/or hire graduate business school students about actual hiring outcomes for the past year, hiring projections for the coming year, expected salary offers for new hires, recruiting practices, sought-after job skills, and more.

Recently, Rebecca Estrada-Worthington, GMAC’s survey manager in charge of survey coordination, discussed results from this year’s survey in June at both the MBA CSEA conference in Atlanta, GA and GMAC’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s survey.

Employment Trends

Employer demand for recent business school graduates remains strong. This year, nearly 9 in 10 employers (88%) plan to hire recent MBA graduates, up from 80 percent that actually hired MBAs in 2015. Salaries remain strong as well—the median starting base salary that employers in the United States expect to offer recent MBA graduates is US$105,000, up from US$100,000 in 2015.


Employer Demand for Non-MBA Business Master’s

This year’s survey also asked employers to identify other types of non-MBA business master’s graduates that they target for recruitment and hiring beyond the graduates of master’s programs in accounting, finance, and management whom they traditionally recruit. Findings show that 59 percent of employers specifically recruit candidates from one or more of these business master’s programs. Graduates of the following programs were actively targeted by a quarter or more of employers: Master in IT and Management Systems (32%), Master in Supply Chain Management (27%), Master in Data Analytics (26%), and Master in Marketing (24%). You can read more analysis of these findings on pages 22-23 of this year’s Corporate Recruiters Survey report.

Talent Identification

Another interesting finding from this year’s survey focuses on traits that employers seek when evaluating recent graduates as potential new hires for their companies. Among 12 traits that survey respondents were asked to rank as most important, the trait that ranked highest overall was fit with company culture, followed by the ability to work in and build strong teams, and ability to make an impact. This finding raises two questions that job-seeking business school graduates should think about and decide for themselves as they prepare to embark on their job search:

  • What type of company culture would they find most desirable to work in, and which companies would be the best match?
  • During the recruitment process, how can they demonstrate to potential employers that they are able to work well in teams and make an impact in their chosen job function and career?

Be sure to download this year’s Corporate Recruiters Summary Report to see more detailed findings on salaries, hiring demand by industry, internships, and more. For the full report and corresponding infographic, visit gmac.com/corporaterecruiters.

Also, be sure to utilize the many resources GMAC makes available for you:

  • com/researchinsights: GMAC’s research staff contribute articles on a regular basis to Research Insights, a new web hub featuring additional coverage of survey findings and other timely, relevant, and data-driven insights on trends in graduate management education. Topics cover every step of the student lifecycle—from candidates’ first consideration of business school to alumni career progression.
  • Interactive Data Reports: Participating schools and survey respondents receive an interactive data report that allows them to explore the data in more detail. (To participate in GMAC research, visit com/surveysignup)




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