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Data & Trends

2005 MBA Graduates Optimistic about the Future

The MBA graduating class of 2005 has plenty to celebrate about. This year’s business school graduates are fielding more job offers and higher base salaries than any class since 2001, according to the latest GMAC Global MBA Graduate Survey.

Average base salaries have hit $90,652 per year for people who have accepted positions, the survey found. People still mulling job possibilities said they expect to receive an average base salary of $84,318, up from the $76,147 respondents in 2004 said they anticipated and the $73,100 expected by survey participants in 2003.

The robust findings follow GMAC research showing that employers now have a much more positive view of the economy than they did in any of past several years. The 2005 Corporate Recruiters Survey, released earlier this year, found that 55% of employers believe the economy is weak, down sharply from 82% in 2004.

The Global MBA survey also revealed that MBA students finishing their degrees in 2005 place notably higher value on their degrees than people who finished graduate business programs in 2004—an indication that students are placing increased value on the MBA as a ticket to career improvement. In addition, the survey, due to be released in June, found that 64% of graduating MBA students say they would recommend their business school to prospective MBA candidates, and another 28% would probably recommend it. Respondents said they form their opinion of the program they attended based largely on their assessment of three factors: program management, curriculum, and student body quality. The quality of faculty and career services play a significant, yet much smaller role

For many MBA graduates, business school sparks a career change: The Global MBA survey found that 45% of respondents plan to switch industries after receiving their degrees. People in the nonprofit/government sector are most likely to indicate plans to try something new; the finance/accounting, healthcare/pharmaceutical, and consulting industries are the three most attractive industries to 2005 MBA graduates.

The results of the 2005 Global MBA Graduate Survey are based on the responses of 5,829 students from the MBA class of 2005 at 129 schools worldwide. Forty-two percent of the respondents are citizens of countries other than the United States.

Click here for more information about the survey—and gain further insight into what the latest crop MBA students thinks about their educational experiences and career prospects. Email for more information.

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