In the study of the MBA Career Services Council (CSC) the job market for MBAs was okay, but not great. Fewer schools reported an increase in on-campus recruiting, and the outlook in financial services and consulting – the two industries on most MBAs’ short list – was so. Now the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is out with two more studies and the job opportunities appear to have picked up.
According to the GMAC data collected with employers the number of companies planning to hire MBAs is up: 79 per cent of companies said they planned to hire re-cent B-school grads in 2012, a raise from 72 per cent in 2011. That will make 2012 the third consecutive year of increases. Improvements were reported in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific (but not Europe) and in all industries, including double-digit increases in technology (22 per cent), nonprofit/government (19 per cent), and energy (14 per-cent).
Not only are more companies hiring MBAs, those that do are hiring more of them – an average of 17.4 per company, up from 13.4 a year earlier, for a year-over-year increase of 30 percent. In the past three years, companies have consistently underestimated the number of MBAs they would hire; if the same is true this year, that figure could easily grow. While companies are hiring more MBAs, the big winners appear to be accounting students; the average number of new hires with graduate accounting degrees is expected nearly to double, from 27.9 to 51.7. The big losers: experienced “direct from industry” hires. In 2011 companies hired 134.5, on average; in 2012, they expect to hire 79.
The news from the student survey is equally encouraging. Overall, 64 per cent of class of 2012 full-time MBA job seekers had offers at the time of the survey, nearly matching the record set in 2001, when 66 per cent had offers. Job offers for students in part-time and executive MBA programs are at an all-time high.
Still, salaries are stagnant. Globally, only 13 per cent of companies told GMAC they plan to increase MBA starting salaries in 2012 above the rate of inflation; 35 per cent plan increases that match inflation, and 50 per cent plan to hold the line on salaries.