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QS: Job opportunities and salaries are on the rise

2011 turns into an exceptionally good year for MBA demand worldwide with 36 per cent growth. That is a turnaround from the five per cent decline reported for 2009. MBAs are playing a central role in the worldwide battle for talent, with economic growth in emerging markets fuelling the demand for MBAs, claims a report from QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. And as ever more employers seek MBAs in all corners of the world, their salaries are slowly equalizing around the globe.

“Up to the third quarter of 2011, MBA demand has remained insulated from the volatility affecting financial markets in Europe and North America,” writes Nunzio Quacquarelli, founder and Managing Director of QS. Since 1990 his QS Intelligence Unit has conducted an annual survey of MBA employers worldwide to determine trends in salaries and recruitment. The 2011 “QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report” shows an expanding MBA demand as employers in emerging economies have begun to embrace the qualification.

India in particular remains a hot spot in 2011, experiencing an explosion in employer demand (up 24 per cent in 2011) especially in consulting and professional services, manufacturing, IT/computer services and microfinance, reports QS. Latin America lags not far behind: the region is set to utilize MBAs as a key talent pool. Latin American companies are internationalizing and battling to enter Asian markets, in particular, Mexico is reporting 103 per cent increase in MBA demand this year.

Although the USA saw lower growth than the emerging markets in percentage terms, the country still remains the largest market for MBAs. 2011 demand is picking up with a 24 per cent jump in job opportunities for MBAs reported by employers, albeit employers are cautious about 2012.

Despite dark clouds hanging over many European countries and a high degree of economic uncertainty, MBA demand in Western Europe in 2011 remains strong, with particular optimism in the UK (34 per cent growth) and Germany (28 per cent growth), fuelled by the consulting and industrial sectors.

In respect to individual industries MBA consulting jobs are back at record levels in 2011, with a 28 per cent jump in demand. Financial services won’t be far behind with a 27 per cent increase. Demand for MBAs in the technology sector is recovering, with IT/computer services jobs recording a 34 per cent increase this year.


The QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report also provides the first view of MBA salary trends in 2011 based on a survey of 2140 recruiters who are actively hiring MBAs. The conclusion of the researchers is: as more and more employers seek MBAs in all corners of the world, MBA salaries are slowly but surely equalizing. There are a growing number of companies operating as multinationals, offering similar terms to new hires, independent of location.

In developed economies, MBA salaries among multinational employers have risen by an average of four per cent in 2011. In the euro zone salaries have risen by nearly ten per cent, driven by the high number of multinational companies in the region who actively target MBAs. Switzerland reports the highest average MBA salaries in Europe and the world at 122,300 US dollars per annum. The UK reports the second highest average in Europe at 99,300 US dollars. Germany has lost its lead position in terms of reported European MBA salaries and is now in fifth place at 83,500 US dollars. MBA salaries in North America are stable. In a depressed economy employers are able to recruit the numbers of candidates required without raising salaries: the average in the US is 92,000 US dollars in 2011.

The big surprise comes in from Australia this year, reporting the highest average MBA salaries in the Asia-Pacific region and second highest worldwide at 117,800 US dollars. Within Asia-Pacific, Japan reports the next highest average salaries of 92,000 US dollars, followed by Hong Kong at 87,500 US dollars among multinational employers.

Over all, Nunzio Quacquarelli from QS, is upbeat about the current market for MBAs: “2011 represents a stellar year with a 36 per cent growth in MBA demand worldwide - well ahead of the long-term trend growth rate of 15 per cent per annum QS TopMBA has reported since 1990!”


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