Graduate Management News

June 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

GMAC Viewpoints: What's Trending in Graduate Business Careers

Megan Hendricks, executive director of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), a GMAC partner since 1994, shares insights into hiring trends for 2016.

Career Outlook GME

Each year in January and June, the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA) surveys our business school members to gauge their thoughts about the job market for graduate business majors (including full-time and part-time MBA programs as well as specialized business master’s degrees). Specifically, we want to know what trends and changes they are seeing within the industry, hiring, and other related topics compared to the previous year.

This past January’s survey results showed a steady increase in hiring—a trend we have seen since the economic turnaround in 2010.

Overall, schools are seeing increases in both on-campus recruiting (i.e., companies conducting interviews on campus) and full-time job postings across all graduate business program populations, with very few experiencing decreases. This is good news because not only does it show continued growth in the job market overall, but it also underscores the value of graduate business degrees in the workplace.

When breaking down data by industry, we found the largest gains across all programs was in technology recruiting, a trend in our full-time MBA program surveys since 2011. In addition to the growth of social media, cloud computing and other new technologies, the increase also is likely driven by strong student interest in technology fields.

Consulting recruiting increased for MBA programs, which signals a stabilizing economy as this traditional MBA industry increases its hiring ranks. Schools also saw increases in the finance industry for specialized master’s programs, which coincides with increased enrollment in these programs. As some financial services firms decrease their MBA hiring, it opens up opportunities for graduates from both Bachelor and Master of Finance degree programs.

On the downside, schools saw decreases in hiring from the energy industry across all program types, which is not surprising given changing oil prices and increased industry regulation.

The largest increases by company type were seen in Fortune 500 companies. It’s worth of noting, however, that schools have seen a steady but growing increase in recruiting from start-ups since 2013. This seems to be fueled by graduates’ interest in being a part of a company’s growth from an early stage, as well as the ability to use multiple skills and wear many hats. Many students also feel the allure of tech start-ups in particular because of the “coolness” factor, wanting to be on the ground level of the development of an innovative product or service.

Most schools reported that fewer companies are choosing to sponsor students for H-1B visas than in the past, which has an effect on their recruiting outcomes. The number of visas granted each year has not kept up with the significant growth in the number of International students seeking degrees in the United States, which places a burden on companies wanting to sponsor these students.

Overall, schools are seeing positive signs in the job market across graduate business programs and are seeing their career services’ office efforts pay off as they respond to changing economic conditions.

To view the full results from current and past MBA CSEA Recruiting Trends surveys, visit:

About the Author

Megan HendricksMegan Hendricks is executive director of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, where she manages daily operations and provides strategic expertise for all programs, events and initiatives.