Employer Hiring Up 4% for Class of 2013 Business School Graduates

More recruiters plan to hire, with early job offer rates similar to last year; pay also rises, GMAC surveys find

RESTON, Virginia (May 21, 2013) -- The job market continues to improve for graduate business school degree holders, as more employers plan to hire MBAs and specialized business master’s talent than did so last year, according to the 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey. The survey was issued today by the Graduate Management Admission Council and its survey partners, the European Foundation for Management Development and the MBA Career Services Council.

A companion student exit survey, the 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey, shows that similar to last year, six in 10 business school graduates already had job offers in February or March. The annual employer and graduate surveys, looking at the current employment outlook from both sides of the market, were released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

[A conference call recording conducted by GMAC researchers on May 20, 2013 will be available through June 20, 2013. A set of presentation slides is also available.]

“Whether employers are aiming for more productivity or growth, the world’s graduate business schools are providing the talent for them. B-school graduates are finding that their education is providing a clear and valued competitive edge in the job market,” said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, the worldwide association of business schools that administers the GMAT exam.

The 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey of 935 employers around the world finds 75 percent plan to hire MBAs, up from 71 percent that hired MBAs in 2012. The proportion of employers planning to hire other types of business school graduates is up from last year for master in management, master of accounting, master of finance, as well as other specialized business master’s. Other findings:
  • US employers expect to pay new MBAs a median salary of $95,000, up from $90,000 last year, although salaries vary substantially by region of work. This represents a $43,000 premium compared with the earnings for bachelor’s degree-holders among US employers.
  • Employers worldwide expect to hire an average of 14.6 new MBAs, up from the 11.4 they hired last year.
  • Sectors in which more employers worldwide plan to hire MBAs this year than in 2012 include: energy/utilities (86 percent, up from 69 percent in 2012); healthcare (89 percent, up from 77 percent in 2012); and consulting (79 percent, up from 69 percent in 2012).
"Companies are looking to attract the best and the brightest, and the business school experience provides an exceptional opportunity to gain new knowledge, learn and share with a diverse group of students and faculty and most importantly develop at a personal level in many different ways," said Eric Cornuel, director general and CEO of the European Foundation for Management Development.

“These results positively answer many of the primary questions MBA candidates ask about the opportunities an MBA degree may present to them, by not only confirming the value of the MBA degree in today’s dynamic job market, but also clearly illustrating the industries in which it might currently best be leveraged. The results also serve as a valuable tool to MBA career services professionals assisting MBAs with critical career decision making,” said Mark Peterson, president of the MBA Career Services Council.

The 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey of 5,331 graduating students attending 159 universities in 33 countries found that 60 percent of those seeking jobs had at least one offer in February or March, comparable to the 62 percent of class of 2012. Likelihood of landing a job offer varied substantially by many factors, including graduates’ preferred work location and whether they studied in their home country or not.  Job-related findings from that survey:
  • Although fewer full-time two-year MBAs had early job offers this year than last (61 percent, compared with 64 percent last year), the percentage of master of accounting graduates with job offers was 76 percent, up from 65 percent surveyed last year.
  • Fifty-four percent of graduates searching for jobs in the finance/accounting industry had offers, down from 61 percent last year. One reason for this shift appears to be greater attractiveness of the finance/accounting sector among career switchers, with just about as many graduates entering the industry as leaving it, signaling a recovery from last year’s findings and greater competition for jobs.
  • More career-switching graduates are entering the consulting, healthcare, and energy/utilities fields than leaving. By contrast, more career-switching graduates are leaving the products and services, manufacturing, nonprofit/government, and technology sectors than entering them.
Both surveys show a healthier job market for business school graduates from five years ago, when just 50 percent of corporate recruiters planned to hire MBAs and 43 percent of class of 2009 graduates surveyed had early job offers.

“Job market success depends on a variety of factors, yet despite varying economic conditions, business school opens doors for its graduates to new job opportunities. Moreover, the b-school class experience is a microcosm for the challenges that graduates will face each day at work,” Wilson said.

GMAC partnered with the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the MBA Career Services Council (MBA CSC) to increase survey participation in the Corporate Recruiters Survey. The 2013 GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey and the Corporate Recruiters Survey are available at gmac.com/surveys.

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Contact: Tracey Briggs, office: +1 (703) 668-9726; mobile: +1 (571) 243-1478; tbriggs@gmac.com.

About GMAC: The Graduate Management Admission Council (gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT exam), used by more than 5,800 graduate business and management programs worldwide. GMAC is based in Reston, Virginia, and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam — the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide — is continuously available at more than 570 test centers in 110 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is available at mba.com. Please visit gmac.com/newscenter.