Everything You Need To Know About Demand For MBA Graduates

Everything You Need To Know About Demand For MBA Graduates


First and foremost – the news for current and future MBA graduates is bright! The Graduate Management Admission Council has recently released its 2016 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, providing an overview of employer hiring demand for master’s level business graduate programmes. This year, they received responses from 842 employers, representing more than 530 companies and 40 countries around the world, and offering insight into hiring practices and trends across a range of industries. For a summary of the key findings of the survey and what it means for demand for MBAs – see below.

Business school talent is highly valued

According to GMAC, the competitive salaries that companies expect to offer recent graduates demonstrate the value that they place on the abilities of business school students. The survey found that US-based companies plan to offer recent MBAs “a starting median base salary of US$105,000 in 2016, up from a median of US$100,000 in 2015”. This is significantly higher than other master’s programmes, with Master in Supply Chain Management and Master of Finance graduates expecting a median salary of US$75,000. The holistic range of skills learnt throughout the programme increase the demand for MBA graduates, as they have a wide understanding of business and can apply that to a variety of job functions.

Demand for MBAs is higher than ever

The survey shows that companies around the world continue to express high levels of demand for MBA and business school graduates. A large 88% of the corporate recruiters surveyed said that they plan to hire recent MBA graduates, compared with 80% of companies that actually hired them in 2015. This figure is 33% higher than 2010 and has grown each year since then, so it’s clear that demand for MBAs remains a steady priority. GMAC also notes that “a greater percentage of companies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the United States plan to hire MBAs in 2016 compared with those who did so in 2015”.

International employment opportunities are increasing 

A large amount (52%) of corporate recruiters expressed that they have plans to, or are willing to consider hiring recent graduates who require additional legal documentation, such as visas or work permits. This highlights the importance of ensuring that you obtain a qualification with relevant accreditations – meaning that your degree is recognised and respected around the world, not just in your own country. In addition, 30% of those planning to hire graduates plan to place them in multiple world regions, reiterating the importance of a global MBA programme and network.

Companies seek candidates who will make an impact

GMAC highlights that demand for MBAs with leadership potential is the most sought after attribute of employers. In particular, they’re looking for leaders within the energy and utilities sector, followed by the health care, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and products and services sectors. Across the regions and industries, demand for MBA graduates who will fit within the organisation’s culture, work within its teams and have the potential to make an impact are highly desired. Interestingly, executive presence, the ability build external networks and ability to work independently were the three lowest-ranked traits.

What do you think?

What do you think about the key points highlighted by GMAC? I’d love to hear from both organisations and MBAs, especially about your experience with the demand for MBAs and how this matches up with the results. Please comment below to share your views.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.  

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