GMAC Survey Predicts Robust Job Market for MBA Grads

One of the strongest indicators of a healthy post-MBA job market can be found within the annual Year-End Poll of Employers, a survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) near the end of each year. Hiring of b-school talent remains a priority in employers’ stated business goals for 2017, signaling expanded opportunities for competitive and high-performing MBA graduates.

MBA hiring trends

Hiring Projected to Increase in 2017

The year 2017 looks to be positive for job-seeking business school graduates, as 83% of surveyed companies have plans to hire b-school graduates this year, whether an MBA or non-MBA candidate.

  • Nearly 8 in 10 employers (79%) expect to hire MBA graduates in 2017, compared with 68 percent of the same companies that hired MBA candidates in 2016. Among companies planning to hire MBAs in 2017, 78% of employers plan of to hire as many or more of them than they did last year.
  • The 2017 hiring forecast for graduates of master’s programs in management and accounting is on trend with past years, with about a third of employers expecting to hire candidates with master’s degrees in management (31%) and accounting (29%), up from actual hiring outcomes in 2016 for these candidates.

Not only are a greater share of companies planning to hire business school graduates in 2017, but these employers also plan to increase the number of MBA and non-MBA graduates they will hire, expanding the number of positions for job-seeking b-school graduates.

Internship Opportunities Plentiful for MBA Candidates

The end-of-year 2016 poll results show that nearly all companies surveyed offer internships to undergraduate and graduate-level students.

  • Of companies that offer internships, 66% will offer internships to MBA candidates in 2017 and 82% of the companies that offer MBA internships plan to maintain or increase the number of MBA internship openings in the coming year.
  • On a par with past years’ findings, a smaller share of employers also expects to offer internships to candidates in business master’s programs including Master of Accounting (17% of employers), Master in Management (16%), and Master of Finance (15%).

GMAC’s annual employer hiring data collected through the Corporate Recruiters Surveys show that internships are one of the most successful means for graduate business students to acquire needed work experience and get a leg up in the job search. For example, 57% of companies surveyed last spring said they hired more than half of their MBA interns from 2015 to full-time positions.

Completion of an internship has value not just in boosting employment opportunities after graduation, but in determining starting salaries for recent b-school graduates. Nearly a quarter (23%) of employers who responded to the 2016 Corporate Recruiter Survey reported that participation in an internship would positively influence the base starting salary offered to a new graduate business hire.

Results of the 2016 Year-End Poll of Employers reflect responses provided by 167 recruiters from more than 140 companies of varying sizes and industry sectors across the globe, including 31 companies listed among the Fortune 500, 21 of which are also included in the Fortune 100.

For more findings from the 2016 Year-End Poll of Employers, you can download the full summary report at www.gmac.com/employerpoll.

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