The KSAs Companies Expect from Business School Graduates: Corporate Recruiters Survey 2018

The findings outlined in this report highlight the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) companies most frequently require from new business school hires and identify the KSAs that companies have the most difficulty finding in the talent pool of recent business school graduates.

July 2018


Graduate business school programs and their students require timely insights from employers to ensure the skillsets they focus on are in sync with current market demands. This report highlights which specific skills employers most often require of their new business school hires, and which of these specific skills employers have the most difficulty finding in the talent pool of recent business school graduates. Analysis highlights differences across world regions and industries.

The Corporate Recruiters Survey 2018 was conducted in February and March 2018 in association with career services offices at 96 participating graduate business schools worldwide. Analysis is based on responses from 1,066 employers in 42 countries worldwide who work directly with participating business schools.


Quick Facts

  • Most companies require their recent graduate business school hires have a blend of interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities. Overall, employers most often saying working with others and self-management are required skills in hiring recent business school graduates.
  • Some skills are easier for employers to find than others. The skills companies have the most difficulty finding among recent business school graduates include data analysis and interpretation, problem solving, and coachability and reflection, in addition to Integrated Reasoning skills.
  • The skills that employers most often require and have the most difficulty finding have the greatest value in the marketplace because they are in high demand and scarce. Across all world regions and industries, the two skills employers most frequently report as being both required and difficult to find are the IR skills of combine (the ability combine and manipulate information from multiple sources to solve complex problems) and organize (the ability to organize information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems).