MBA Job Market Shows Signs of Stabilization

handshakeToday’s MBA graduates have entered a job market that looks several shades brighter than when they entered business school just two years ago.The latest research by the MBA Career Services Council shows a majority of schools reported an increase in on-campus activity for full-time positions compared with last spring. Alumni-initiated hiring has increased as a result of schools’ additional efforts to engage alumni.

The MBA CSC, an association of business school career management offices and companies who hire MBA students, recently released the findings of its Spring 2012 Recruiting Trends Survey. The findings show that both on-campus recruiting opportunities and full-time job postings have increased for most schools worldwide.

These findings echo results released in May by the Graduate Management Admissions Council‘s annual Corporate Recruiters Survey. In that poll,  64 percent of  graduates of full time, two-year MBA programs had job offers in hand””nearly matching the all-time record set in 2001, when 66 percent of students had employment offers.

The MBA CSC survey findings reveal that 51 percent of respondents report an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time jobs, and 69 percent of respondents report an increase in full-time job postings. Although recruiting has slowed slightly compared with previous years–suggesting an overall market stabilization—most schools are seeing growth, with only 11 percent noting a decline in on-campus recruiting activity.

Nicole Hall, president of the MBA Career Services Council and director of the career management center at Wake Forest Schools of Business, says “Companies have continued to expand their on campus presence and recruiting activities over the last few years following the recession. The survey results confirm that schools have retained that growth, while many have seen continued growth in 2012.”

Increases in recruiting activity are occurring across most sectors, with consulting and technology showing the largest increase. Financial services and government showed the largest decrease in full-time recruiting activity.

Schools are optimistic about internship hiring, with 80 percent of respondents reporting that at least 75 percent of students received an internship offer. Also, 72 percent of respondents expect internship opportunities to increase compared with last year.

When asked about hiring methods, alumni-initiated hiring saw the largest increase (58 percent reported an increase). This seems to be a direct result of efforts on the part of career services offices to increase alumni engagement through referrals and networking events.

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