Graduate Management News

July 2015

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

B-School Class of 2015 Tells All

Nine in 10 recent grads rate their degree a good to outstanding value.

B-School Class Tells All

Is your business school looking for brand ambassadors to promote the value of your graduate business programs? If so, look no further than your current crop of graduates. Members of the class of 2015 who just earned MBA and master’s-level management degrees give high marks to their education and had great success landing early job offers—on average at salaries nearly double their pre-degree salaries.

These are just some of the high-level findings published in the 2015 GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey Report, released last month at the start of GMAC’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. More than 3,300 graduate business students in the class of 2015 from 112 universities, representing 29 countries worldwide, responded to GMAC’s annual exit survey of graduating b-school students conducted in February and March of this year.

The vast majority, 9 in 10 (89 percent) graduates, rate the value of their degree as a good to outstanding value and 88 percent would recommend their program to others considering a graduate business degree.  


Bob AligIn an education market where questions of value are raised regularly at various stages — from application to admissions to graduation — business school graduates are clear in their judgment that their degrees not only provided immediate value, but lasting value."

Bob Alig, GMAC Executive Vice President, School Products

Many factors influence students’ perceptions of the overall value and return on investment of their education, most notably program structure, curriculum, and faculty. In addition, skill development, including the incorporation of integrated reasoning skills into their curriculum, also influences students’ likelihood to recommend their program.

Graduates who received early job offers reported significantly higher levels of development in the following skill areas: managing human capital, knowledge of general business functions, and interpersonal orientation (i.e., working well with others). The prevalence of team projects—accounting for 23 percent of class time, on average—likely factors into the development of interpersonal orientation.

“What stands out in the GMEGS report, as well as in other surveys we have conducted over the years, is that a graduate management degree is an outstanding investment in the personal, professional, and financial aspirations of these students.” Bob Alig, GMAC Executive Vice President, School Products 

This year’s graduates feel their graduate management education succeeded in boosting their employability. A majority of graduates surveyed agreed that their degree: 

  • Improved their chances of finding a job that meets their expectations (86 percent)
  • Provided them with a competitive advantage in the job market (85 percent) 
  • Prepared them to meet the challenges of the job market (85 percent) 
  • Empowered their control over employment outcomes (82 percent)
  • Introduced them to new career opportunities (78 percent)

infographicThe jobs outlook for b-school grads remains strong in 2015: 

  • More than half (59 percent) of job-seeking graduate business students in the class of 2015 report receiving an early job offer prior to graduation, on par with last year’s class (57 percent). 
  • Among job-seeking graduates of full-time two-year MBA programs, 63 percent received a job offer prior to graduation, compared with 60 percent of their peers surveyed at the same time last year. 
  • Recent graduates of specialized business master’s programs experienced a high degree of early job search success compared with 2014. Among Master of Accounting graduates, 89 percent of job seekers received early job offers (up from 77 percent in 2014); 59 percent of job seekers in Master in Management programs received early job offers (up from 39 percent in 2014); and 53 percent of job-seekers of Master of Finance programs had early job offers (up from 30 percent in 2014). 
  • Among graduates receiving early job offers, more than half (52%) accepted mid-level positions, 18 percent accepted senior-level positions, and 27 percent accepted entry-level positions. Overall, more than one-third (37 percent) of this year’s job-seeking graduates will advance to a higher-level job after graduation. 
  • Globally, b-school grads with early job offers report a median post-degree salary increase of 90 percent over their pre-degree salary (up from the 80 percent increase seen by graduating students in 2014). 
  • Overall, one-third (33 percent) of recent b-school graduates plan to continue working for their current employer after graduation and expect significant post-degree job benefits as a result of earning their degrees including: salary increases (47 percent), increased job responsibilities (46 percent), and promotions (39 percent). 
  • Internships and work projects boast a 50 percent success rate in yielding early job offers for job-seeking b-school students—the highest success rate among all job search methods, consistent with previous GMAC research findings.