The job market continues to improve for graduate business school degree holders, as more employers plan to hire MBAs and specialized business master's talent than did so last year, according to the 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey issued the Graduate Management Admission Council and its survey partners, the European Foundation for Management Development and the MBA Career Services Council.
A companion student exit survey, the 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey, shows that similar to last year, six in 10 business school graduates already had job offers in February or March.
"Whether employers are aiming for more productivity or growth, the world's graduate business schools are providing the talent for them. B-school graduates are finding that their education is providing a clear and valued competitive edge in the job market," said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, the worldwide association of business schools that administers the GMAT exam.
The 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey of 935 employers around the world finds 75 percent plan to hire MBAs, up from 71 percent that hired MBAs in 2012. The proportion of employers planning to hire other types of business school graduates is up from last year for master in management, master of accounting, master of finance, as well as other specialized business master's.
Employers worldwide expect to hire an average of 14.6 new MBAs, up from the 11.4 they hired last year.
Sectors in which more employers worldwide plan to hire MBAs this year than in 2012 include: energy/utilities (86 percent, up from 69 percent in 2012); healthcare (89 percent, up from 77 percent in 2012); and consulting (79 percent, up from 69 percent in 2012).
"Companies are looking to attract the best and the brightest, and the business school experience provides an exceptional opportunity to gain new knowledge, learn and share with a diverse group of students and faculty and most importantly develop at a personal level in many different ways," said Eric Cornuel, director general and CEO of the European Foundation for Management Development.
"These results positively answer many of the primary questions MBA candidates ask about the opportunities an MBA degree may present to them, by not only confirming the value of the MBA degree in today's dynamic job market, but also clearly illustrating the industries in which it might currently best be leveraged. The results also serve as a valuable tool to MBA career services professionals assisting MBAs with critical career decision making," said Mark Peterson, president of the MBA Career Services Council.
The 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey of 5,331 graduating students attending 159 universities in 33 countries found that 60 percent of those seeking jobs had at least one offer in February or March, comparable to the 62 percent of class of 2012. Likelihood of landing a job offer varied substantially by many factors, including graduates' preferred work location and whether they studied in their home country or not.
Although fewer full-time two-year MBAs had early job offers this year than last (61 percent, compared with 64 percent last year), the percentage of master of accounting graduates with job offers was 76 percent, up from 65 percent surveyed last year.
Fifty-four percent of graduates searching for jobs in the finance/accounting industry had offers, down from 61 percent last year. One reason for this shift appears to be greater attractiveness of the finance/accounting sector among career switchers, with just about as many graduates entering the industry as leaving it, signaling a recovery from last year's findings and greater competition for jobs.
More career-switching graduates are entering the consulting, healthcare, and energy/utilities fields than leaving. By contrast, more career-switching graduates are leaving the products and services, manufacturing, nonprofit/government, and technology sectors than entering them.
Both surveys show a healthier job market for business school graduates from five years ago, when just 50 percent of corporate recruiters planned to hire MBAs and 43 percent of class of 2009 graduates surveyed had early job offers.
"Job market success depends on a variety of factors, yet despite varying economic conditions, business school opens doors for its graduates to new job opportunities. Moreover, the b-school class experience is a microcosm for the challenges that graduates will face each day at work," Wilson said.