Graduate Management News

May 2014

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

More Recruiters Plan to Hire MBAs

Good news for the class of 2014: Employers want you. Compared with last year, more recruiters worldwide plan to hire all kinds of business school graduates this year.

Corporate Recruiters Survey

Some 80 percent of business school recruiters plan to hire MBAs, up seven percentage points from last year and 30 percentage points higher than 2009, when just half of employers hired MBAs. The survey of 565 employers from 44 countries, including 32 of the top 100 companies in the FT 500 and 36 of the Fortune 100, was conducted in partnership with EFMD and the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA). 

“More companies in all sectors and across the world plan to hire business school graduates, with projected hiring rates the highest for all degree types since the Great Recession started in 2009,” said Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC CEO and president. “MBAs have always been valued by employers, but this survey shows that as the economy improves, employers see MBAs as a good investment into their future.” 

The optimistic hiring outlook for MBAs and other master’s-level business graduates comes as fewer companies are focused on overcoming economic challenges. Corporate goals act as a barometer for the business landscape and what employment opportunities may exist in the coming year. Results of the survey show that companies focused on growth and expansion are more likely to have improved hiring plans. At the same time, the percentage of employers planning to hire new bachelor’s degree graduates is holding steady, down one percentage point from the 75 percent that hired bachelor’s graduates in 2012 and 2013.

Sangeet Chowfla, President of GMAC

“More companies in all sectors and across the world plan to hire business school graduates, with projected hiring rates the highest for all degree types since the Great Recession started in 2009.” 

Sangeet Chowfla
GMAC CEO and President 

“This year's survey paints a very positive picture for the business education sector and clearly shows how companies and recruiters value the whole portfolio of business degrees. Despite all of the doom and gloom, the clear message from the market is that business schools are providing the talented, bright individuals that companies need,” said Professor Eric Cornuel, CEO & director general of EFMD

Key findings, comparing projected hiring for 2014 with actual hiring from previous years, include: 

  • Some 83 percent of employers in Asia-Pacific, 61 percent of European employers, and 86 percent of US employers plan to hire MBAs this year, all increases from 2013. 
  • Half of the global employers surveyed plan to hire master in management graduates, up from 45 percent past year. 
  • 45 percent of employers worldwide plan to hire master of accounting graduates, up from 36 percent last year. 
  • 44 percent of employers worldwide plan to hire master in finance graduates, up from 39 percent last year. 
  • Out of communication, managerial, teamwork, leadership and technical skills, employers say communication skills are the most important ones they seek in new hires, on average twice as important as managerial skills. 
  • Median base salaries employers expect to offer MBAs are US$95,000 in the US and US$69,000 in Europe, as compared with US$50,000 for US bachelor’s graduates and US$41,000 for European bachelor’s graduates. Projected median MBA base salary in Asia-Pacific is US$21,340, reflecting much lower per-capita income in the region. 

"With the global economy moving forward at a more solid pace in 2014, MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA) is pleased to see that 80 percent of companies intend to recruit MBAs this year, that salary gains are being realized for MBAs in regions such as Asia-Pacific, and that industries such as consulting have been increasing recruitment since last year. These are all positive signs for MBA graduates and talent in the pipeline,” said Mark Peterson, president of the MBA CSEA and director of Graduate Business Career Services, Iowa State College of Business. “And to see GMAC’s data confirming that MBA graduates are sought not just for their management skill but also for their superior soft skills, confirms the direction today’s MBA programs are moving with enhanced programming in soft-skills development." 

For the full 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey report, go to

The Corporate Recruiters Survey is conducted in conjunction with the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA).

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