More new business school graduates are landing jobs to go with their diplomas amid renewed optimism among employers, according to data from the Graduate Management Admission Council
GMAC’s 2012 Global Management Education Graduate Survey and 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey finds that companies with fewer than 1,000 employees accounted for the largest proportional increase in demand for graduate management hires among the 1,096 global companies surveyed.
Sixty-two percent of graduating MBAs and other management education graduates surveyed this year reported that they had a job offer, up from 54 percent in 2011.
Meanwhile, 79 percent of companies surveyed said that they plan to hire recent MBA graduates this year, compared with 72 percent in 2011.
The study also finds that the average number of planned new hires per employer surveyed increased to 17 in 2012 from 13 last year.
“As companies begin to act on plans to expand, they are hiring talent to help manage strategy and growth to sustain the business for the long term,” said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC. “Particularly noteworthy is the expansion of hiring among smaller companies in our survey, which are key drivers of economic activity. These entrepreneurial firms see real value in the skills that management graduates bring to the workforce.”
Employer confidence varies by region, reflecting the unevenness that characterises the global economy.
On average, companies in the Asia-Pacific region and the United States expect continued growth in hiring in 2012 for all management graduates, whereas European companies project that hiring levels in 2012 will be similar to what they saw in 2011.
“These results provide strong evidence on the continued global market recovery, which is also matched with the feedback received from EFMD’s business school members,” said Eric Cornuel, director general and CEO of EFMD, a key partner in conducting the recruiter survey along with the MBA Career Services Council. “The MBA remains the core degree program of business schools, while master’s programs are further gaining in acceptance by employers.”
Across the board, leadership skills topped the list of skills employers want in their new management graduate hires.
Employers also want new hires that are able to organize and combine information from multiple sources to solve complex problems and make sound judgments. These data analysis and high-level integrated reasoning skills were noted as particularly important to companies looking to hire graduate management students.
Among students who had at least one job offer at the time the Global Management Education Graduate Survey was conducted in February and March, full-time two-year MBAs saw the largest gains between pre-MBA and post-MBA salaries (81 percent). This is up eight points from last year.
The most popular industries in which class of 2012 graduates looked for jobs were products and services, consulting and finance/accounting irrespective of program type. The products and services sector yielded the fewest job offers for this year’s graduates, but also saw the highest increase in salary from pre-degree to post-degree earnings (75 percent).
In an industry attractiveness index developed by GMAC, more graduates are switching out of the finance/accounting sector than are switching into it in 2012.
Despite graduates’ highest success rate in landing a job in the manufacturing sector (76 percent), the manufacturing industry is seeing more graduates leaving the industry than switching into it.