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Data & Trends

Corporate Recruiters Survey Confirms Tight Job Market, With Some Areas of Promise

GMAC’s 2009 Corporate Recruiters Survey suggests that the job market is likely to remain constricted, but there are glimmers of positive news.

Survey results verify a fact of life today: Strained economic conditions are having a significant impact on corporate hiring plans. Most organizations across industries and geographic locations project a hiring freeze for all types of candidates this year. Companies that do plan to hire expect to hire 50 percent fewer new employees compared with last year. Yet the proportion of graduates from management programs among those new hires is expected to remain unchanged.

The survey data track trends that will be familiar to administrators and managers in business schools. Starting in December 2007, the recession had relatively little effect on 2008 MBA graduate hiring. While fewer companies hired graduating MBAs in 2008 than did in 2007 (58 percent vs. 64 percent, respectively), the average number of new MBA graduate hires per company actually increased by 3 percent. The continued downturn, however, has encouraged a cautious attitude toward hiring, as reported in the last two Manpower Employment Outlook surveys of global hiring trends.

Graduates of other master’s-level programs in business witnessed the more immediate effect of the recession. The proportion of companies that hired Masters in Management graduates remained unchanged in 2008 (18 percent), but there was a drastic decline in the average number of new hires per company—companies surveyed reported hiring five times fewer graduates from Masters in Management programs in 2008 than in 2007. Similarly, while more firms hired specialized master’s in business graduates (40 percent in 2008, up from 31 percent in 2007), hiring companies cut the number of new hires by more than half.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the coming year, competition in the job market is expected to be tough among all graduates. The figure below illustrates the change in average number of hires by degree type among graduate management students from 2007 (actual) to 2009 (projected). The drop is notable, but there is still a need for management graduates. Demand for MBAs continues to be strong in the consulting, health care, and energy sectors. Among Masters in Management graduates, demand is highest in consulting and high technology. Other specialized master’s in business degrees related to finance and accounting are also in demand.

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