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MBA graduates in high demand

Since the financial crisis in 2008, MBA graduates across the world have awaited each year’s prognosis for employer demand anxiously. But the demand has steadily increased over the years, peaking this year. Salaries of MBAs and Business Master’s Graduates are also expected to rise globally.


Picture: hppd/ fotolia

The employer survey was conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) that administers the Graduate Management Admission Test, an entry exam for business schools. Almost 750 employers from 47 countries around the world responded to the survey including 46 companies listed in the Fortune 100. The organisation found that the demand for MBA graduates continues to show a strong upward trend in 2015, as 84 per cent of companies worldwide plan to add new MBAs to their workforce – up from 74 per cent in 2014 and 62 per cent five years ago.

'The MBA, as an area of study valued by employers, is showing more strength than ever with the hiring of new graduates projected to rise for the third year in a row,' said Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO. 'Employer demand for recent business school graduates, notably those skilled in data analytics, continues to increase as companies expect these new workers to use data to drive business decisions starting the moment they're hired.'

Regional highlights from the survey show:

·         92 per cent of companies in the United States plan to hire MBA graduates in 2015.

·         75 per cent of Asia-Pacific companies are planning to employ MBAs.

·         56 per cent of European-based companies plan to hire MBAs and 52 per cent Master in 
         Management graduates.

·         75 per cent of Latin American companies are looking for MBA and Master of Finance graduates this

'When companies express a focus on growth, it appears they return to MBA hiring,' Chowfla said. 'Whereas in the past, when priorities such as managing the enterprise or cost control were foremost on a company's agenda, employers appeared to favour hiring more specialized graduates.'

Globally, more than half of employers will increase starting salaries for new MBA hires in 2015, either at the rate of inflation (30 per cent of companies) or higher (21 per cent). The median starting salary expected in 2015 for recent MBA graduates in the United States is 100,000 dollars. This represents an increase of 5,000 dollars over 2014 salaries and is nearly double the expected starting salary of 55,000 dollars for bachelor's candidates in 2015. Prior work experience is key in helping students stand out in the job market, especially for MBA graduates. Depending upon the degree earned, employers expect recent graduate business candidates to have an average (median) of two to four years of prior work experience.

GMAC's research into hiring trends also shows notable growth in the demand for experts in data analytics, with 51 per cent of all companies surveyed globally stating that they plan to hire for this job function in 2015 – up from 44 per cent last year. When asked to list skills that employers look for in business school graduates this year, analytics was the most frequently mentioned skill.

In addition to these findings, the 2015 report also explored job level placement and recruiter behaviour: Globally, the majority of recent business school degree holders, upon graduation, can expect to be placed in a mid-level or entry-level position. Employers in Latin America and Europe expect to place the greatest proportion of recent business graduate hires in senior- and executive-level positions.



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