Graduate Management News

June 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Business Schools Connect Students to Robust Hiring Market

Make real connections with students, alumni and your academic community.


The year 2016 appears to be one of the best hiring markets in recent memory for the current class of MBA graduates, with more corporate recruiters planning to hire MBAs compared with last year. As highlighted in the findings of the just-released report of GMAC’s 2016 Corporate Recruiters Survey, some 88 percent of corporate recruiters who work directly with graduate business schools plan to hire recent MBA graduates this year, up eight percentage points from 2015, and 33 percentage points from 2010, the lowest point of the Great Recession.

GMAC conducted the 15th annual Corporate Recruiters Survey in February and March together with partners EFMD and MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), in association with 109 participating graduate business schools worldwide. Findings in the report reflect hiring projections for 2016 that were provided by 842 employers representing more than 530 companies in 40 countries around the globe who recruit directly from participating business schools.

The report highlights the value that on-campus recruiting brings to job-seeking business school graduates. This year, for the first time, GMAC conducted a supplemental employer survey at the same time as the Corporate Recruiters Survey, in order to broaden and deepen its reach among employers in key countries and gain relevant insights into general business hiring for MBA and other business graduates in the wider marketplace.

The sample for this “General Population Employer Survey” was purchased through a private vendor and it yielded responses from 1,282 companies located in six of the largest markets for graduate management education—China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. The results show that half of the companies responding to the supplemental survey have plans to hire an MBA in 2016—ranging from a low of 35 percent of companies in Germany to a high of 70 percent of companies in China.

“The difference in hiring projections between the two surveys highlights the value business schools provide to students in connecting them with employers that want to hire them,” said Bob Alig, GMAC’s executive vice president for school products. “These results are compelling evidence for admissions professionals to demonstrate the value of a graduate business degree to prospective applicants.”

“This survey brings to light the enhanced opportunities our member school career services offices bring to graduate business students,” said Damian Zikakis, MBA CSEA president and director, career services, at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. “Nearly 9 in 10 employers that work with career services plan to conduct on-campus recruitment this year, giving students a tremendous advantage in finding job opportunities that are a great match for their talent and aspirations.”

Additional key findings from the Corporate Recruiters Survey include:

  • Hiring projections for graduates of non-MBA business master’s programs in management, accounting, and finance vary by world region:
    • A greater share of companies in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America plan to hire Master in Management and Master of Finance graduates in 2016 compared with 2015.
    • More companies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America plan to hire Master of Accounting graduates in 2016 compared with 2015.
  • Asked for the first time about their hiring plans for graduates of other non-MBA business master’s programs, about a quarter of corporate recruiters report plans to hire graduates from Master of Supply Chain Management (27 percent of respondents), Master of Data Analytics (26 percent), and Master of Marketing (24 percent) programs.
  • Graduates from supply chain management programs are in greatest demand among companies in the manufacturing, technology, and products and services sectors, whereas graduates of master’s-level programs in data analytics are in greatest demand in the technology sector, sought by 43 percent of companies—nearly twice as many companies as in other industries.
  • Globally, more than half (54 percent) of employers plan to increase MBA starting salaries either at the rate of inflation (33 percent of respondents) or above (21 percent); 46 percent will keep starting MBA salaries the same as 2015.
  • These MBA salary projections for 2016 are similar to those projected for new hires with non-MBA business master’s degrees, with one exception: 67 percent of companies that plan to hire graduates with Master in Supply Chain Management degrees expect to increase their starting salaries either at the rate of inflation (46 percent) or above (20 percent).
  • US-based companies plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting base salary of US$105,000 in 2016, up from a median of US$100,000 in 2015.
  • The median starting base salary of US$85,000 that US employers will pay to graduates of both Master of Data Analytics and Master of Marketing programs is expected to exceed the median salary they will offer to graduates of Master in Management and Master of Accounting programs.
  • Overall, 52 percent of corporate recruiters report that their companies either have plans to hire (24 percent) or are willing to consider hiring (28 percent) recent business school graduates who require additional legal documentation, such as work permits or visas.
  • Nearly a third (30 percent) of companies that plan to hire business school graduates in 2016 will place these candidates in multiple world regions.

“A graduate business degree is rewarding from a personal, professional and financial standpoint no matter which country you study in,” said Eric Cornuel, director general and CEO of EFMD. “The advantages students get from on-campus recruitment will pay dividends throughout their careers.”

To download GMAC’s 2016 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, a list of participating schools, and an overview of the survey methodology, visit: