During 2010, recent MBA graduates around the world enjoyed a large increase in the number of jobs available. However, average MBA salary figures continued to decline, according to independent research.
Opportunities for MBA job seekers during 2010 increased by 24%, according to the QS Top MBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2010/11. This is in contrast to 2009, when job opportunities declined by 5% globally.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the largest increases in MBA job opportunities were seen in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, with Indian job openings increasing by an astonishing 43%. China witnessed a 19% increase, Russia 22%, and Brazil 25% more openings in 2010 over 2009.
While Western European MBA job seekers still enjoyed an increase in career opportunities, it was by only 3% when compared to 2009. US MBA graduate hiring enjoyed a 9% increase, and South America 5%. Eastern Europe saw the smallest rise in MBA career opportunities regionally, with a 2% increase.
Looking to the future, it is widely believed that as the global economy recovers from the impact of the recessionary period of 2008 and 2009, so too will the overall job market.
Around the world, average MBA salary figures declined by 5% in 2010, compared to 2009.
While this statistic may be disappointing for many, they will be able to take solace in the widely-held expectation that overall MBA pay rates for fresh graduates will return to pre-recessionary levels or higher in the not-so-distant future.
Encouragingly, MBA salary levels remain far above that of undergraduate degree holders. In Western Europe and North America for instance, the average wage of US$86,650 for fresh MBA graduates is roughly three times that of their undergraduate counterparts.
Regionally, Latin America witnessed the only rise in MBA salary levels, as the average wage rose by 1% to an average of US$69,000. Meanwhile, Western Europe suffered the largest decline, as remuneration for MBAs dropped by 9.3% to US$85,600. The lowest average MBA salary is currently found in Central Europe, after it fell by almost 7% to US$47,500.
MBA jobs in finance and consulting are predicted to increase dramatically during 2011 and beyond.
Continuing its strength over the past decade, the consulting sector reported a 19% increase in MBA hiring during 2010, and a predicted further increase of 37% during 2011, according to the QS Top MBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report. This predicted spike in recruitment is predominantly due to the emphasis upon industries needing to evolve as they emerge from the recent economic difficulties.
MBA jobs in finance increased by 22% during 2010, showing a strong post-recession recovery as a result of cheap capital and demands for innovation within the sector. Further, as the sector attempts to ensure strong leadership for the future, it forecasts another increase of 11% during 2011.