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November 2013

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Alumni Job Trends: Nine Out of 10 Class of 2013 Employed

The business school class of 2013 fared well overall in the job market, as 90 percent of alumni around the world polled by GMAC in September were employed. Rates varied by country and world region of citizenship, with 95 percent of US respondents employed, 92 percent of Latin Americans, 87 percent of Indians, 82 percent of Europeans, and 85 percent of those from Asia-Pacific countries.

The global figure is six percentage points above the employment rate in 2009, when 84 percent of those queried were employed in September, but down slightly from the 92 percent of last year’s graduates employed by September 2012.Employment Rate for New Business School Alumni Despite economic uncertainty, 74 percent of the class of 2013 alumni who landed jobs said they could not have gotten it without their graduate management education.

In spite of the slow, uneven economic recovery around the world, the job outlook for business degree-holders is holding fairly steady,” said Gregg Schoenfeld, director of management education research for GMAC, the non-profit organization that conducts the GMAT exam for graduate programs in business and management worldwide. “Regardless of employment status, the vast majority of alumni from the class of 2013 believe their education developed their skills, expanded their network, and prepared them for the job market.”

Five percent of the class of 2013 alumni reported themselves as entrepreneurs/self-employed, a similar proportion as previous years. The most common industries for entrepreneurs are consulting (27 percent), technology, and products and services (both 23 percent). For the first time, the poll also studied entrepreneurs as job creators and asked about their future hiring plans. Most self-employed alumni (69 percent) have employees, a median of two. An even higher percentage (78 percent) expect to hire a median of three new employees in the next 12 months.

The poll is a follow-up to the GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey, an exit survey of graduate business students conducted in February and March. Some 915 alumni from 129 business schools worldwide responded.

Key Findings

  • 95 percent of US citizens were employed, up from previous poll results since 2009 (87 percent). Almost all (97 percent) of the US citizens work in the US, though more than half (58 percent) of US alumni work for multinational organizations.
  • The technology sector is drawing 15 percent of the class of 2013 graduates, up from 12 percent in 2009.
  • Ninety-two percent of full-time two-year MBA alumni were employed at the time of the follow-up alumni poll—the highest level reported since the class of 2009.
  • MBAs and other business master’s degree-holders continue to find opportunities in a variety of industries, with a total of 57 percent employed in the products and services, finance and accounting, and consulting sectors.
  • Almost all class of 2013 alumni (96 percent) rated the value of their degree as outstanding, excellent or good, similar to previous years.

Salaries for business school graduates (shared below for available program types by citizen groups) must be interpreted with caution because they are influenced by many factors, including years of work experience, regional cost of living differences, industry, and job level. Data for the class of 2013 business school alumni by work location (irrespective of the program type or citizenship filters) is also available in the report.

  • The median starting annual salary offered to US citizens who graduated from a full-time two-year MBA in 2013 is US$90,000, with a bonus and additional compensation of US$10,000.
  • US citizens who graduated from part-time MBA programs report a median annual salary of US$85,000.
  • Citizens of India who graduated from full-time two-year MBA programs report a starting salary of US$34,988.
  • European citizens who graduated from full-time one-year MBA programs report the greatest median starting salaries, US$101,093.

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