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Job market for MBAs: From ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’

Jobs are up and salaries, too. According to separate surveys of employers and graduates released by the Graduate Management Admission Council there is a “pronounced improvement in the job market for business school graduates,” said Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC director of research and author of the graduates’ survey report. “Based on job offers, hiring is up in all industries, and more than half of the students who were looking for work had job offers two months before graduation. Last year, that figure was lower than one-third.”

Here are the major findings of the Corporate Recruiters and Global Management Education Graduate surveys:

• In 2011, 54 percent of all graduate business students looking for a job had at least one offer at the time of the survey, up from 32 percent in 2010, and the average number of offers was 2.0, up from 1.8 in 2010.

• Graduates of full-time MBA programs with job offers generally expected a higher salary increase than the classes of 2010 and 2009. The corporate recruiters reported plans to offer an average base salary of 91,433 dollars to MBA students in the US, a figure matched by European employers at 91,693 US dollars.

• Although part-time MBAs’ average salary increase lagged, some 55 percent of those looking for jobs had offers, a five-year high. Employers, meanwhile, are significantly more likely to hire full-time MBA graduates but significantly more likely to sponsor part-time MBAs.

"In 2011, more companies are focused on growth and expansion, and less on overcoming economic challenges and cutting costs,” said Rachel Edgington, author of the GMAC 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey. “We see a definite shift from a ‘surviving’ to a ‘thriving’ mode.”

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