Thursday, June 05, 2014 at 1am

Slight Drop in Early Offers of MBA Jobs Reveals GMAC Survey: MBA News

Slight Drop in Early Offers of MBA Jobs Reveals GMAC Survey: MBA News main image

The 2014 Global Graduate Management Education Graduate Survey from GMAC has revealed a slight drop in the proportion of business school students receiving early job offers. In the class of 2014, 57% of those actively seeking MBA jobs (amounting to 62% of 3,049 graduates from 111 institutions, 4% of whom had entrepreneurial ambitions) had been offered a position at the time of the survey, falling from 60% for the class of 2013. The long-term trend is positive, however, with the equivalent figure for 2010 standing at 32%.

If full-time MBA students are taken in isolation, the drop in early offers of MBA jobs is slightly more pronounced, from 59% to 53%. Program length also plays a part, the GMAC study reveals, with those in two-year programs (60%) enjoying a considerably higher success rate than those in one-year programs (45%) – though we must take into account the reduced time allowed for job seeking in a shorter, more concentrated program. However, last year’s figure for single-year programs stood at 53%.

Factoring in non-full-time MBA programs, the global success rate for those seeking early MBA jobs also stands at 53%. Students at schools in the US and Europe – at 57% and 56% respectively – unsurprisingly enjoy slightly higher success rates than the global average, and have stayed relatively level, while the global figure has plummeted by 10% since 2012’s high watermark.

In total, at US schools, 57% of those looking were offered early MBA jobs, while in Europe the figure stands at 47% - down from 55% in 2013. Those offered early MBA jobs were likely to be more successful if studying internationally in Europe (40% of domestic students against 51% of international), and if studying domestically in both the US (61% compared to 41% international) and in India. In the case of the latter, 91% of domestic job seekers were offered jobs – reflective of the ingrained employment practices for MBA jobs in India. This is up considerably on last year’s figure of 75%.

Good news comes in reference to salary levels, with the median salary increase from pre-MBA earnings of those offered MBA jobs increasing to 80% from 73% last year. Healthcare offers the greatest median increase, at 109%, while technology offers a 97% rise, consulting offers 87% and finance 63%.

Finance jobs still account for majority, despite emergence of alternatives

The GMAC survey reveals some interesting trends in terms of industries. While finance jobs account for 26% of job offers, and consultancy jobs 21%, it’s those seeking MBA jobs in manufacturing and healthcare/pharmaceuticals (7% and 5% of jobseekers) who enjoy the highest success rates, with 74% of those applying for jobs in these industries receiving an offer. The success rate of those seeking technology jobs was also high, at 61%, with technology accounting for 15% of all job offers made.

The lowest success rate was in products & services (49%); all other sectors saw more than 50% of applicants offered jobs (57% of those looking for finance jobs and 58% of those seeking consultancy jobs).

Consultancy jobs were the most popular and fruitful with career switchers, with 27% of the career switchers (career switchers account for 57% of those surveyed) receiving early job offers, landed them in this field. In total, 59% of career switchers found jobs, while 61% of those who remained in the same industry did. Finance jobs were landed predominantly by those who worked within the industry prior to their MBA. Indeed, 70% of finance jobs went to those with previous experience.

Student satisfaction levels remain high

The GMAC survey also looked into student satisfaction levels with programs taken, which is of course closely related to employability – both actual and perceived.

In this regard, 84% believed they now enjoyed better job prospects, 83% felt they had gained a competitive advantage, 83% again felt ready to meet the challenges of job market, 79% felt empowered to take control of their career outcomes and 77% felt they had been introduced to new career opportunities as a consequence of enrolling in an MBA.

Student satisfaction levels were highest in the Asia Pacific region, with 95% rating their program as good to outstanding, and lowest in Europe where the equivalent figure was 78%. Student satisfaction levels in the US reached 90%.

It was found that students were largely happy with the faculty at their schools, with 92% reporting a high level of satisfaction with their faculty’s knowledge and 90% feeling that they were responsive. However, the figure for teaching methods was slightly lower, at 83%.

Student satisfaction levels with the rest of their cohort were also high, with 85% reporting satisfaction with the cooperative nature of the student body, 80% with its contribution to learning, 78% with the talent level and 75% with networking opportunities.

Finally, a regional disparity was revealed between the Global North and the Global South in terms of motives. Students from the US, Canada and Europe were seeking challenging and interesting work above all else, while a higher salary was the key motivator for students from India, the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East & Africa.

Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of TopMBA.com. He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.

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