Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 3pm

Class of 2015 Report on Their MBA Jobs Experience: MBA News

Early job offers and the class of 2015.

MBAs fresh out of the class of 2015 secured slightly more early offers of MBA jobs than their predecessors in 2014.

More than half of this year’s graduating business students at master’s level, 59%, had received a job offer by the time of GMAC’s class of 2015 survey in March, up from 57% in 2014. This number was understandably more pronounced among domestic students – 70% of those studying in their country of citizenship secured an early offer, compared to 42% of international students.

In total, a little over 3,000 students responded to GMAC’s 2015 Global Management Education Graduate Survey, of which three-quarters were set to graduate with an MBA.

Differing experiences for one and two-year MBA students in GMAC survey

Among the survey’s MBA respondents, graduates of two-year programs fared better in securing early offers of MBA jobs than those of one-year programs. A total of 63% of two-year students landed early offers, up from 60% in 2014. Conversely, the proportion of one-year students reporting early offers fell from 45% in 2014 to 36% among the class of 2015. Notwithstanding this continuing decline (60% in 2012 and 53% in 2013, though it was as low as 27% in 2010), it should not be seen as surprising that more two-year students secure MBA jobs prior to graduation, considering the increased intensity of taking on a one-year program.

Elsewhere, GMAC’s results provide further evidence of employers’ interest in graduates of pre-experience master’s in management (MiM) programs. Among the respondents (5% of the total) who were set to graduate with this qualification, 59% had a job offer at the time of the survey – a notable rise on the 39% reported last year.

Of course, these statistics are not indicative of graduates’ success in finding jobs on graduation. What they can do, however, is provide some very useful signs of the types of MBA jobs offered to the class of 2015 and how students secured them.

Outcomes from early offers made to class of 2015

In particular, the survey flags up some very interesting results with regards to career advancement – the bedrock of postgraduate business education. Not all respondents were looking for new opportunities – about a third said they are returning to their previous employer.  But, for those who were in the market for new opportunities, 37% received offers at a higher job level.

Among those who came into their degree from what they described as an entry-level position (28% of the survey total), 72% received offers at a higher level. Meanwhile, of the 55% of respondents who held a mid-level position prior to enrollment, 27% were set to advance to senior- or executive-level roles with their job offers.

In spite of the increasing options to study and pick up entrepreneurship skills at business school, those seeking to run their own business only made up 5% of GMAC’s class of 2015 survey. Of this proportion, 25% started a business during their program of study, 33% said they would do so after graduation and the remainder indicated that they were self-employed prior to enrollment.

Where then were those receiving early offers of MBA jobs heading? According to the survey, finance and accounting accounted for 28% of the offers received, while 21% were in the consulting industry, 19% from products and services, and 12% from the realms of technology. Smaller proportions of offers, of 7% and below, came from the manufacturing, healthcare, and energy industries, as well as from government and nonprofit organizations. These figures encompass all the survey’s respondents and not just those from MBA programs.

Sourcing and securing MBA jobs

GMAC’s survey also provides some insight into how students came to find these jobs. Respondents employed an average of five resources and tactics to secure employment, the most popular of which (in descending order) were applying directly to a company, networking with classmates and alumni, online job portals and an institution’s career services.

However, the methods that led to the most job offers were different. Internships and work projects came out top here (50% success rate), ahead of students’ work with career services (48%) and using school job boards (38%).

At the time of the survey, class of 2015 members had applied to an average (median) of 10 jobs to receive an average of three interviews and one job offer.

GMAC’s 2015 Global Management Education Graduate Survey collated the experiences of those attending a total of 112 institutions worldwide, the largest numbers of which are based in the US and Europe.

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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