2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey: Demand of Graduate Management Talent

June 2021


GMAC conducts the annual Corporate Recruiters Survey (CRS) to provide vital data for employers and business schools in understanding trends and insights about hiring, salaries, and skills for MBA and business master’s graduates. The survey report focuses on the demand for graduate management talent from the viewpoint of employers. It narrates the key take-aways and provides related data by regions, programs, and industries. Despite the continuing impact of the pandemic on hiring, the survey gathered 569 responses from corporate recruiters between February 25 and March 31, 2021.

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Quick Facts

  • Recruiters project a robust demand for business school graduates: Overall, a higher proportion of recruiters in 2021 (37%) expect the demand to increase compared to the previous year (30%). In terms of regions, a higher proportion of European recruiters (54%) expect the demand to increase as compared to Asian (32%) and American (34%) recruiters.
  • MBA hiring projections indicate a rebound in 2021: The proportion of recruiters planning to hire MBAs in 2021 (91%) returned to the same level as pre-pandemic 2020 (92%). MBA hiring projections exhibit strength across key regions and industries. Specifically, 95 percent of consulting sector recruiters are planning to hire MBA graduates—a reversal from the 2020 actual hiring of 76 percent.
  • MBA salary premium holds at the pre-pandemic levels: The median MBA salary for 2021 is projected to recover to its pre-pandemic 2020 levels. At $115,000, the median salary of MBA graduates is 77 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree ($65,000) and 53 percent higher as compared to those hired directly from industry ($75,000). This salary premium could help an MBA graduate earn US$3 million more than someone only holding a bachelor’s degree.