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Data & Trends

Job Market Pragmatism Pays for 2011 B-School Grads

Often casting a wide net in an uncertain economy, class of 2011 graduate business students largely fared well in the job market, according to the newest findings of GMAC’s Alumni Perspectives Survey. Some 34 percent of class of 2011 job seekers who landed jobs by September 2011 were working outside their originally intended fields. This, however, did not affect their job satisfaction. Overall, four out of five new alumni who got hired after graduation said that they were happy with their jobs and that their salary met or exceeded their expectations.

Although the overall median starting salary for a class of 2011 graduate who began a new post-degree job was US$75,000, that figure varied greatly by type of program and region of citizenship:

In all, 86 percent of the class of 2011 graduate business students responding to GMAC’s Alumni Perspectives Survey reported that they had jobs by September. That figure includes not only those graduates from full-time two-year (86 percent employed) and one-year (75 percent employed) programs but also part-time (91 percent employed) and executive MBA (96 percent employed) graduates, with most from the latter two program types keeping the jobs they held while attending school.

“The class of 2011 explored industries they thought offered them more opportunities and positions paying highly competitive salaries, and their practical approach very likely is why so many of them are satisfied with how their job search turned out,” said GMAC Research Manager Laura Leach. “Eighty-five percent of those working outside their intended industry said their job was the kind of job they were looking for,” said Leach, who analyzed the survey results from 4,135 respondents in the classes of 2000-2011, including 963 members of the class of 2011.

The Alumni Perspectives Survey is a longitudinal survey of former respondents of the annual GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey and tracks the career progression of those who earned degrees from MBA and other graduate management programs from 2000 to 2011. Key findings from all alumni across 12 graduation years include:

  • High employment rates. Some 94 percent of those surveyed were employed when surveyed in September 2011, with 87 percent working for an employer and 7 percent self-employed. These figures are higher than recent overall employment figures for the US and the European Union.
  • MBA salaries. MBAs across all years reported a median salary of US$95,000, and an average of US$18,123 in additional compensation. Part-time MBA alumni reported a median salary of US$91,000, with an average additional compensation of US$15,000; executive MBA alumni earned a median starting salary of US$125,000, with an average additional compensation of US$28,445.
  • Gender wage parity. The wage gap between men and women, at least in the United States, is noticeably smaller among alumni from MBA and other graduate management programs when compared with overall male-to-female earnings. In the US, women with graduate management degrees make 85 percent of what men with comparable degrees earn, compared with the overall female-to-male wage gap of 77 percent from US Census Bureau data.
  • Value of their degree: Nine out of 10 alumni say their graduate management education prepared them for their chosen careers. Also, four out of five alumni believe having the degree offers greater job stability in a still-weak economy.

Hurry! Have Your 2012 Grads Surveyed

Schools can get a clear picture of what their graduating students think by facilitating the 2012 Global Management Education Graduate Survey. These student respondents will have the opportunity to participate in future Alumni Perspectives Surveys. Schools can participate by sharing contact information with GMAC or emailing the survey to all graduating students. In return, schools receive early data reports and also interactive benchmarking reports that allow them to see how their graduates’ responses compare with aggregate data from at least five peer schools. Registration for the Global Management Education Graduate Survey, as well as the Corporate Recruiters Survey, is open through January 27, 2012.

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