The job market for people with management education degrees has improved and employers expect conditions to get even better during the months ahead. This is the conclusion made from the results of a pair of annual international surveys released on May 10 by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
The research shows that more business school graduates have been able to find jobs before finishing their studies in 2011 compared with the class of 2010. Moreover, companies are increasingly turning their attention to growing their operations and bringing on new employees after years of riding out rough economic conditions, GMAC researchers found. More than half (54%) of job-seeking respondents had at least one job offer at the time the research was conducted in March—weeks before graduation. By comparison, just 32% of respondents to the survey last year who were looking for employment had landed an offer.
Salaries are also on the rise. For example, graduates from two-year full-time MBA programs reported a 73% increase in their post-degree base salary compared with what they earned before beginning their studies, on average. This is an increase from the 64% average salary boost seen by their peers in the class of 2010. Underlying the strengthening job market for MBAs is an overall sense among employers that the economy has stabilized enough that they can focus on growing their businesses. In fact, 67% of employers represented in the survey expect to hire new MBAs during the coming year, up from 62% in 2010 and 50% in 2009. New hires in the United States can expect to earn an average base salary of $91,433, up from $89,141 last year and $86,299 in 2009. Companies appear to be shifting their overall goals. Fifty-eight percent of employers said expanding operations represents a key priority for their firms, up 10% from 2009. Meanwhile, just 36% of participants in the survey said their organizations were focused on overcoming economic challenges, down from 49% of respondents in 2010.
The 2011 GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey reflects responses from 4,794 graduating members of the class of 2011 at 156 graduate business schools worldwide. The 2011 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey includes responses from 1,509 employers from 905 companies in 51 countries.
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