Who are typical business administration graduates? How do they use the advantages of their degree? Do they land a quality job immediately after graduation or do they have to wait? How much do they make and in which sectors are they employed? These are some of the questions that the Graduate Management Admission Council, the owner of the GMAT test, has asked MBA graduates each year since 2000.

Graduate salaries on the rise

The GMAC has asked a total of 6877 business alumni, including 824 of the Class of 2010, to disclose more information about their management education and careers. 93% of the participants in the survey are employed. The Alumni Perspective Survey reconfirms a well known fact - business school alumni are amongst the highest paid graduates. The median reported remuneration for all polled respondents in 2010 was $94,542 - an increase from $89,000 in 2007. The median bonus in 2010 was $17,565, compared to $10,000 three years earlier. Despite the shadow of the crisis still looming over the economy, the demand for MBA alumni in the work force has proven to be remarkably strong. 88% of the GMAC study respondents from the Class of 2010 have found employment and their median salary is quite good - $78,820.

More figures

The challenging job market had pushed most candidates to make compromises and apply for positions which they believe are not especially attractive. Almost half of them admit applying for jobs that pay less than they expected and a third or more have considered geographical areas that they would normally disregard, in addition to posts not fitting the desired function and industry and work for which they were overqualified. This comes as a proof of the still unstable state of the employment market and the discomfort felt by many qualified graduates in the present times. Despite these facts, the majority (58%) of the Class of 2010 reported that their salary expectations were met, and 12% said that they were even surpassed. Candidates have sent an average of 33.3 applications that resulted in 6.3 interviews and 1.9 job offers. According to the GMAC’s survey, the network of personal contacts was the most successful method for finding a job for 37% of the business school’s graduates. An on-campus interview has helped 20% of MBA graduates find employment and 10% have used the school alumni network for the same purpose. The business alumni employment by industry is quite diverse. Traditionally Finance/Accounting is the biggest field where 22% of the respondents work, then Products/Services with 20%, and Consulting and Technology with 15% and 14% respectively. 10% of the Class of 2010 have found employment in the non-profit sector, 9% in Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals, 5% in Manufacturing and 4 % in Energy.

How about job satisfaction?

The survey results are based on the answers of respondents that are polled twice each year - in April and in September. 50% of all the alumni reported being well prepared for their career in their business education and 33% said they considered themselves very well prepared. The pay is important, but not the most important factor when it comes to the issue of job satisfaction. 35% of business graduates indicated the passion for the work they are doing as the most important element. 18 % say that the main criterion is the level of compensation, and another 18 % reported that being recognized is their top priority. 14% derive satisfaction from the scope of their managerial role and the next aspects of the professional fulfillment are autonomy (7%), control (5%) and flexibility (3%).