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June 2012

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Class of 2012 Faring Better on the Job Market Than Class of 2011

Management students in the class of 2012 are graduating into an improving job market, with more students leaving school with job offers than last year, and employers expecting to hire more MBAs, according to two new worldwide surveys from the Graduate Management Admission Council.
Some 62 percent of the students responding to the Global Management Education Graduate Survey had job offers when surveyed in February or March, up 8 percent from last year.  Meanwhile, 79 percent of the Corporate Recruiters Survey respondents expected to hire new MBAs, up from the 72 percent that hired in 2011. Employers who expect to hire MBAs also expect to hire 17 of them, up from 13 last year.

Released simultaneously in May, the surveys provide a picture of what students experience today in graduate management programs, which skills and qualities hiring managers look for in the candidates they select, and the current state of the job market from the perspectives of graduating students and employers.

Although the job market overall shows improvement from last year, the picture varies substantially by world region. Asia-Pacific companies are significantly more likely than US or European companies to hire in general, and they’re more likely to hire because of goals to expand geographically. 


  • More Asia-Pacific companies this year than last plan to hire all types of job candidates, from MBAs to non-business master’s degrees. The percentage that plan to hire master of accounting graduates is up significantly, from 38 percent in 2011 to 54 percent in 2012.
  • Employers from Asia-Pacific hiring recent MBAs are looking to fill a variety of areas, including marketing and sales/business development (54 percent), general management (41 percent), operations and logistics (39 percent), and consulting positions (39 percent).
  • Illustrating the global nature of the workforce, about one third (35%) of Asian companies plan to place new graduate business hires in positions located in Canada, and 27 percent plan to place new graduate hires in the US.
  • Both domestic (72 percent) and international students (57 percent) at Asia Pacific schools were more likely to have job offers than students in other world regions, respectively.


  • Hiring by US employers is up in all categories from 2011, including MBAs (up 9 percent to 79 percent), Master in Management (up 5 percent to 30 percent), master of accounting (up 5 percent to 28 percent), and other specialized master’s programs (up 4 percent to 38 percent).
  • By sector, employers in the US want new hires for areas in finance (non-investment banking) 42 percent; marketing and sales (39 percent), general management (32 percent), and business development positions (30 percent).
  • About one-fifth (19%) of US employers plan to place new hires at work locations in Europe or the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Some 64 percent of domestic students and 43 percent of the international students at US schools had job offers, the biggest disparity among world regions.


  • Hiring among European employers is generally flat or down for most types of business graduates, with the biggest decline among companies that plan to hire master of accounting graduates, down to 35 percent of companies in 2012 from 47 percent last year.
  • Top functional areas for European hiring are marketing and sales (43 percent), consulting and business development (each 38 percent), and general management (36 percent).
  • Nearly half of European companies plan to place new hires at jobs located in the US, and 35 percent plan to place new hires in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Fifty-nine percent of domestic and 55 percent of foreign students at European schools had job offers.

The Global Management Education Graduate Survey is based on responses of 5,366 recent or soon-to-be graduates of 136 business schools worldwide.

The Corporate Recruiters Survey is based on responses of 1,096 hiring managers at more than 800 companies in 40 countries. GMAC partnered with the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the MBA Career Services Council (MBA CSC) to increase survey participation.

To sign up early for next year’s survey, which allows your program to get custom interactive benchmarking reports, go to

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