Business Schools Connect Students to Robust Hiring Market

Study shows strongest business school corporate recruiter demand for MBA talent since post-recession low in 2010

RESTON, Va. (June 21, 2016) – Companies working directly with business schools plan to hire more MBAs this year than they hired in 2015 according to a global survey report released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Some 88 percent of corporate recruiters who work directly with graduate business schools plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2016, up eight percentage points from last year and 33 percentage points higher than 2010, the lowest point of the Great Recession.

GMAC conducted the 15th annual Corporate Recruiters Survey in February and March together with survey partners EFMD and MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), in association with 109 participating graduate business schools. The survey findings are based on responses from 842 employers representing more than 530 companies in 40 countries worldwide who recruit directly from participating business schools.

This report highlights the value that on-campus recruiting brings to job-seeking business school graduates. For the first time, GMAC broadened its reach among employers by conducting a supplemental survey of an employer sample purchased through an outside private vendor. This “General Population Employer Survey” yielded responses from 1,282 companies located in the six largest markets for graduate management education — China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. The results show overall that half of the companies responding to the supplemental survey have plans to hire an MBA in 2016 — ranging from 35 percent of companies in Germany to 70 percent of companies in China.

“The difference in hiring projections between the two surveys highlights the value business schools provide to students in connecting them with employers that want to hire them,” said Bob Alig, GMAC’s executive vice president for school products. “These results are compelling evidence for admissions professionals to demonstrate the value of a graduate business degree to prospective applicants.”

“This survey brings to light the enhanced opportunities our member school career services offices bring to graduate business students,” said Damian Zikakis, MBA CSEA president and director, Career Services, at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “Nearly 9 in 10 employers that work with career services plan to conduct on-campus recruitment this year, giving students a tremendous advantage in finding job opportunities that are a great match for their talent and aspirations.”

Additional key findings include:
Non-MBA Business Master’s Program Employment Opportunities
Hiring projections for graduates of non-MBA business master’s programs in management, accounting, and finance vary by world region:

  • A greater share of companies in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America plan to hire Master in Management and Master of Finance graduates in 2016 compared with 2015.
  • A greater share of companies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America plan to hire Master of Accounting graduates in 2016 compared with 2015.

Asked for the first time about their hiring plans for graduates of other non-MBA business master’s programs, about a quarter of corporate recruiters report plans to hire graduates from Master of Supply Chain Management (27 percent of respondents), Master of Data Analytics (26 percent), and Master of Marketing (24 percent) programs.

  • Graduates from supply chain management programs are in greatest demand among companies in the manufacturing, technology, and products and services sectors, whereas graduates of master’s-level programs in data analytics are in greatest demand in the technology sector, sought by 43 percent of companies — nearly twice as many companies as in other industries.

Expected Starting Salaries
Globally, more than half (54 percent) of employers plan to increase MBA starting salaries either at the rate of inflation (33 percent of respondents) or above (21 percent); 46 percent will keep starting MBA salaries the same as 2015.

  • These MBA salary projections for 2016 are similar to those projected for new hires with non-MBA business master’s degrees, with one exception: 67 percent of companies that plan to hire graduates with Master in Supply Chain Management degrees expect to increase their starting salaries either at the rate of inflation (46 percent) or above (20 percent).
  • US-based companies plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting base salary of US$105,000 in 2016, up from a median of US$100,000 in 2015.
  • The median starting base salary of US$85,000 that US employers will pay to graduates of both Master of Data Analytics and Master of Marketing programs is expected to exceed the median salary they will offer to graduates of Master in Management and Master of Accounting programs.

International Hiring and Job Placement
Overall, 52 percent of corporate recruiters report that their companies either have plans to hire (24 percent) or are willing to consider hiring (28 percent) recent business school graduates who require additional legal documentation, such as work permits or visas.

  • Nearly a third (30 percent) of companies that plan to hire business school graduates in 2016 will place these candidates in multiple world regions.

“A graduate business degree is rewarding from a personal, professional and financial standpoint no matter which country you study in,” said Eric Cornuel, director general and CEO of EFMD. “The advantages students get from on-campus recruitment will pay dividends throughout their careers.”

To download GMAC’s 2016 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report and an overview of the survey methodology, visit: For supporting graphics, visit the GMAC News Center.

About GMAC: The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®) is the nonprofit organization of 213 leading graduate business schools from around the world. GMAC is the owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®), used by more than 6,100 graduate programs worldwide — along with other products designed to help students find, connect, and apply and gain admittance to business and management programs around the world. The Council is also the owner and administrator of the NMAT by GMAC™ exam, used for entrance into graduate business and management programs in India. GMAC is based in Reston, Va., with offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam — designed expressly for graduate business and management programs — is continuously available at 630 test centers in 115 countries. Additional information about the GMAT exam is posted on For more information about GMAC, please visit

About EFMD: The EFMD management development network includes over 860 institutional members from academia, business, public service and consultancy across 84 countries worldwide. EFMD offers a range of services, including conferences and seminars around the world, surveys and the dissemination of knowledge, quality improvement and accreditation via EQUIS, EPAS, EOCCS and CLIP, as well as the EDAF mentoring programme and BSIS impact assessment system. For more information about EFMD, please visit

About MBA CSEA: MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA) is an 800+ member global alliance of graduate business career management professionals and employers. The organization is the global leader in delivering the tools, developing the relationships and providing the supportive information and services that produce ongoing success for graduate business career services offices and employers. Working together, employers and schools collaborate to support each other’s success. Members explore topics and challenges they face, work together to develop innovative solutions and use this dual perspective to benefit schools, students and employers. Programs and services provided include annual conferences in Asia, Europe and the United States, regional forums in cities across the globe, recruiting trends and benchmarking surveys, employment data reports, webinars, and member-to-member communications. MBA CSEA also authors and manages the Standards for Reporting MBA Employment Statistics, which provide guidelines for the collection, management and distribution of employment data. Business schools, prospective students and the media rely on the Standards for accurate and comparable information. For more information about MBA CSEA, visit:


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