Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 3pm

MBA Jobs Tipped for Further Rise across 2015: MBA News

MBA jobs to rise says GMAC survey

Worldwide, 84% of companies have said MBA jobs are available to business school graduates this year, according to a new GMAC survey of employers.

This projection would represent an 11% rise on the proportion of international firms hiring MBAs in 2014 and among 2015’s projected hirers, more than half (59%) said that more positions would be on offer than were available in 2014.

There was even better news when looking at the US alone, where 92% of employers said they had MBA jobs on offer, considerably more than the 80% of respondents who said they had hired MBAs last year.

GMAC’s president and CEO, Sangeet Chowfla, believes the statistic is closely related to companies’ increasing willingness to expand – a current emphasis indicated by 69% of employer respondents in the survey:

“When companies express a focus on growth, it appears they return to MBA hiring.” Chowfla said, in a press release.

‘Encouraging’ findings in GMAC survey   

The 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey is the latest edition of GMAC’s annual analysis of the MBA jobs landscape. For this edition, results were drawn from the responses of 748 employers, of which 46 are members of the Fortune 100. The US was the largest source of employers respondents, contributing 61% of the total, but 15% and 16% of those polled were based in Europe and Asia-Pacific, respectively.

As one might expect, given the delicate and uneven economic recovery in Europe, when taken as a whole, the continent’s projected growth in MBA jobs doesn’t come close to that of the US. The GMAC survey, however, did find a moderate 3% rise on 2014 in the 56% proportion of European employers that said MBA jobs would be available. More promising was Asia-Pacific, where 75% of employers said they planned to hire MBAs, up from 69% last year.

Damian Zikakis, career services’ director at Michigan Ross and president of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), with whom GMAC collaborated in the survey, emphasized the optimism surrounding the overall picture:

“This is great news for students and portends well for the economy overall. It is encouraging to know companies are so confident in their growth prospects.”

MBA salaries also set for growth

The outlook on anticipated MBA salaries this year was also positive. More than half (51%) of the employers polled by GMAC said that the MBA salaries on offer to recent business school graduates would be higher than last year. While 30% said a rise in MBA salaries would only come at the rate of inflation, 21% said the rise would exceed this rate.

A new benchmark was reached in the survey’s projections for MBA salaries in the US, where the median wage reported rose by US$5,000 to hit the six-figure US$100,000 threshold.  

Technology and energy/utilities were the industries in which companies posted the highest amount of desire to fill MBA jobs this year. Among technology firms, which amounted to 13% of GMAC’s total pool of employers, 93% said they wanted to hire MBAs this year. From the smaller, 5%, pool of energy/utilities companies in the survey, 96% reported MBA hiring intentions.  The lowest demand for MBAs emanated from the survey’s pool of healthcare and pharmaceutical sector companies, although even here roughly three-quarters signaled an intention to take on new MBA hires. 

Notably, data analytics stands alongside finance as the second-most popular functional role pinpointed in employers’ hiring plans, behind marketing and sales positions. This last point extends to companies planning to hire graduates of specialized business master’s graduates as well as to MBAs.

MBA jobs outweigh demand for MiM graduates

Indeed, the GMAC survey also notes a projected rise in the demand for graduates of master’s in management (MiM) programs although, as yet, not at levels anywhere near approaching the demand for MBAs. In total, just over half of respondents (51%) said they planned to hire graduates of the pre-experience postgraduate degree. This proportion was highest in Asia-Pacific, where 66% of companies indicated hiring intentions in this area, up from 53% in 2014.

However, global interest in hiring master’s in management graduates has risen rapidly since an 18% proportion was reported to GMAC back in 2010 and today’s figure among US employers - where 45% now say they plan to hire MiM graduates, up from 32% last year – suggests that the format has made great strides in winning over recruiters as to its value.      

A more complex picture for international students

On the whole, it’s a very bright outlook. But, the proportion of employers looking to take on international students isn’t quite so pronounced. Globally, 44% of respondents said they would not be hiring international students (defined as graduate business students studying and/or looking to work outside of their country of citizenship). Only 29% said that they formed part of their hiring plans, with the remainder open to considering the right candidates. Regionally, interest was highest in Asia-Pacific, where 43% said international students were part of their hiring plans, while in the US the proportion was 28%. The most cited reasons for not encompassing international students in their hiring intentions were ‘legal paperwork’, ‘too expensive’ and, among the largest firms in the survey, ‘limited visas’.

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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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