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December 2012

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Registration is now open for participation in the 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey and Global Management Education Graduates Surveys. Schools are urged to sign up before January 20. Participating schools facilitate a GMAC survey of their corporate recruiters and graduating students, respectively. For their efforts, those schools receive the survey results in advance, as well as private, interactive benchmark reports that allow them to compare data on their recruiters or students with aggregate data from five or more peer schools.

Job Market Looking Up for Those Earning Graduate Degrees in 2013

More companies are planning to hire in 2013 than did so in 2012, and many firms plan to increase or maintain the number of new MBA and other business master’s graduates they will hire next year, according to the GMAC 2012 Year-End Poll of Employers.

A more favorable job market is positive news for anyone thinking of pursuing a graduate management degree but especially for MBA and other master’s-level business students who will graduate next year and begin the job search. In general, 76 percent of companies polled plan to hire MBAs in the new year, up from the 69 percent of companies that reported hiring MBAs in 2012. And 23 percent of companies that hired MBAs in 2012 expect to increase their headcount of MBA new hires in 2013.

The 2012 report includes separate survey findings for the first time on the three most popular master’s programs at business schools – Master in Management, Master of Finance, and Master of Accounting. Hiring plans for these degree-holders is upbeat: Roughly 40 percent of employers plan to hire each of these three types of degree holders in 2013, and nearly 20 percent of employers anticipate an increased headcount in their hires for each candidate type (16% to 19% depending on candidate type). 

Figure: Hiring Outlook (2012 Actual) and (2013 Projected), by Candidate Type

The improved job market extends to other candidates, particularly experienced direct-industry hires. Direct-industry hires represent the most sought-after candidate type in the study with 86 percent of companies planning to hire them in 2013, up from 83 percent in 2012. As one respondent noted, “The market is still recovering, and there is a high level of competition in the job market for graduates. The experienced specialists and managers are of higher demand.”

Internships are also expected to remain valuable both to candidates looking to bridge their experience gap and to employers using internships as early recruiting tools. Some 85 percent of companies will offer internships to students in 2013, most commonly to bachelor’s degree candidates (70 percent of companies) and MBAs (65 percent of companies). In addition, 13 percent of companies plan to increase the number of internship spots offered to MBAs.

Other key findings from the poll include:

  • Starting annual base salaries will rise in 2013 (above or at the rate of inflation) for MBAs and business master’s hires, as reported by more than half of companies (between 56 percent and 64 percent of companies depending on the candidate type)
  • More than half of companies (53 percent) intend to launch new products or services and 37 percent of firms have aims for geographic expansion in 2013, even as 40 percent will focus on overcoming economic challenges.


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