Business School Students in High Demand: Nearly 9 in 10 Landed Jobs Prior to Graduation

Survey finds full-time MBA graduates in North America benefit the most from salary bump while Asia Pacific graduates record the biggest increase in rating of the overall value of degrees

RESTON, Va. (September 14, 2022) – Despite market fear of an imminent recession, 86 percent of 2022 business school graduates were employed at the time of graduation, up from 80 percent in 2021, according to a survey report released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Contributing to the favorable trends are the regional results of graduates who studied in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. Among graduates of Asia-Pacific business schools, this year 91 percent report being employed at the time of graduation, compared with 78 percent in 2021. Similarly, among European graduates, 90 percent indicate they were employed this year compared with 75 percent last year.

The annual Enrolled Students Survey from GMAC, a global association of leading graduate business schools, aims to better understand current trends in student and recent graduates’ evaluations and outcomes of their graduate management education (GME). Conducted in May-June 2022, this year’s survey explores the views of 1,718 respondents from nearly 300 business schools in 57 countries around the word on their overall GME experience, job search, and compensation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Globally, the responding graduates of participating schools reported a median percentage increase in total compensation – including base salary and all other compensation – of 29 percent. Notably, among North American school graduates, those who attended full-time MBA programs reported a pre-GME total compensation median of US$80,000, and a post-GME total compensation median of US$120,000 – an impressive 50 percent increase.

“With the volatile economic conditions and organizational challenges brought on by the pandemic, well-rounded and prepared business leaders and managers are especially in demand in the current job market,” said Matt Hazenbush, director of research analysis and communications at GMAC and author of the report. “As the survey findings suggest, graduate management education provides students with a powerful leg up for their career.”

Other Key Findings

Most students who set out to make a career change or gain a promotion encounter success

In step with the Great Resignation, students’ top goals and motivations in 2022 were to enrich their lives and make a career change. Among 2022 respondents, a majority who set out to make a career change or get promoted report that they were successful in achieving that goal. Specifically, among those who say making a career change was one of their top three motivations to pursuing GME, 57 percent said they were successful. Success rates for graduates from schools in Latin America/Middle East/Africa (66%) and North America (61%) were slightly higher, though not significantly, than those in Asia Pacific (54%) or Europe (55%), but across world regions a majority successfully made the career change they set out to make. Similarly, 56 percent of graduates who had the goal to gain a promotion were successful.

Social media use in the job search jumps up from last year

Use of social media in the job search – including sites like LinkedIn – increased significantly year-on-year, from 27 to 37 percent, overtaking networking with classmates and alumni (28%) as well as friends and family (35%). The increase in social media use as a job search method was significant among professional MBA (24% in 2021 to 31% in 2022) and business master’s students (23% in 2021 to 40% in 2022). By region, use of social media increased significantly among those who studied in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America/Middle East/Africa, but not in North America.

Students from Asia-Pacific schools rate the overall value of their degree significantly higher in 2022 compared with 2021 

Eighty-five percent of respondents rated the overall value of their degree as good to outstanding, up slightly from 82 percent in 2021. By region, students who studied in Asia-Pacific schools reported the largest year-on-year increase in favorable ratings for the overall value of their degree, rising from 75 percent to 86 percent between 2021 and 2022. While both full-time MBA and business master’s students in Asia Pacific had year-on-year increases, the increase was significant among full-time MBA students, rising from 66 percent to 84 percent. Globally, students who attended ranked schools reported similar levels of favorability of the overall value of their degree compared with students who attended non-ranked schools (85%, respectively).

As pandemic restrictions eased, student satisfaction with career and student services improved

Eighty-four percent of 2022 respondents gave career services a favorable review, up from 74 percent in 2021. Also improving were opinions on student services, up to 85 percent favorable from 80 percent in 2021. The improvement in favorability in career and student services was consistent across students of full-time MBA, business master’s, and professional MBA programs, as well as students who studied in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Middle East/Africa, and North America.

About GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. GMAC provides world-class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools, and assessments for the graduate management education industry, as well as resources, events, and services that help guide candidates through their higher education journey. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment.

More than 12 million prospective students a year trust GMAC’s websites, including, to learn about MBA and business master’s programs, connect with schools around the world, prepare and register for exams and get advice on successfully applying to MBA and business master’s programs. BusinessBecause and The MBA Tour are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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