Improved Job Market Greets New MBAs

Those earning MBAs this spring have reason to rejoice: two annual surveys released Tuesday by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) indicate the job market has improved and employers expect conditions to get even better in the coming months.

Research from GMAC shows that more B-school graduates have found jobs before finishing their studies this year compared with the class of 2010. What’s more, 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.

“There is a clear connection between the optimism employers are expressing and the improving job prospects business school graduates are seeing,” says Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer of GMAC. “Organizations need smart managers to deal with challenges””and they rely on them to seize opportunities.”

More than half (54 percent) of job-seeking respondents to GMAC’s 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey had at least one job offer at the time the research was conducted in March””weeks before graduation. By comparison, just 32 percent of respondents to the survey last year who were looking for employment had landed an offer.

Even better news: salaries are also on the rise.  Graduates from two-year full-time MBA programs reported an 73 percent average increase in their post-degree base salary compared with what they earned before beginning their studies. This is an increase from the 64 percent 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, according to GMAC’s 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey. In fact, 67 percent of employers represented in the survey expect to hire new MBAs during the coming year, up from 62 percent in 2010 and 50 percent 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. 

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.

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