Graduate Management News
Data & Trends

MBA Momentum is Back

The 2006 Corporate Recruiters Survey uncovered encouraging trends for universities offering the MBA degree—and for their students. Recruiters surveyed by GMAC forecast that in 2006 their hiring of MBAs will increase 18 percent from 2005 levels. There were 1,270 corporate recruiters who participated in the survey, representing 737 companies.

Applications and admissions to graduate business schools are also on the rise, according to David Wilson, chief executive of GMAC. “The polish is back on the stone,” Wilson said. “Every way you look at it, the market for MBA talent has come back strong.” Recruiters reported a widespread sense of optimism about the economy after the sluggish period following the bursting of the Internet bubble, the terrorist attacks of 2001, and a series of highly publicized corporate scandals.

The GMAC survey shows that the picture is brightening. Candidates seeking finance and marketing positions will be in particularly high demand. The recruiters also report a continued interest in skills such as strategic and analytical thinking, quantitative skills, and leadership skills. Nearly 40 percent of the recruiters say that they place strong emphasis on these “soft skills” when interviewing candidates, and past surveys of MBA alumni show that executives increasingly rely on these areas as their careers advance.

Salaries will be up as well: in 2006, MBA graduates can expect starting base salaries of $80,809, with a total compensation package including benefits of $99,737. In 2005, base salaries averaged $78,040, and in 2004, they were slightly less at $77,066. The recruiters themselves report they expect to be busier in 2006, visiting nine business schools over the course of the year, compared to the 8 schools they visited in 2005.

For more information or a closer look at the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, please visit


© 2006 Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™). All rights reserved. GMAC™ is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council™.
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