Good News for Job-Hunting MBAs

GMAC survey says 81 percent of corporate recruiters plan to hire new MBA grads.

Good News for Job-Hunting MBAs

THE MARKET REMAINS STRONG for MBA graduates, according to the 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey released in June by the Graduate Management Admission Council. Overall, 81 percent of companies that responded to the survey said that they plan to hire MBA graduates in 2018.

In addition, 52 percent of global respondents plan to increase MBA starting base salaries this year. The projected median base starting salary for recent MBA graduates in the United States in 2018 is US$105,000, compared with $85,000 for new hires who come directly from industry and $65,000 for new hires with bachelor’s degrees.

However, the hiring plans among U.S. and European employers are slightly down from 2017’s projections: 85 percent of responding U.S. companies and 64 percent of European companies plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2018, compared to 91 percent and 68 percent, respectively, in 2017. Demand for MBA talent is strongest in the Asia Pacific, where 90 percent of responding employers plan to make MBA hires in 2018—the same share as last year.

The softening in the hiring numbers in the U.S. and Europe reflects “prevailing political and student mobility issues,” says Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO. “MBA hiring overall is strong, but we are seeing the mix shift geographically.”

The survey also found that U.S. employers’ intent to hire international business graduates has softened this year. Forty-seven percent of companies plan to or are willing to hire international talent in 2018, down from 55 percent that had such plans in 2017. In comparison, about the same percentage of European employers plan to or are willing to hire international talent in 2018 (65 percent) as in 2017 (64 percent).

Chowfla speculates that this dip could be a response to potential revisions to visa and immigration regulations. He notes, “Even though H1-B visa rules haven’t yet changed, there is a perception that they might change in the near future, and some employers may be waiting to see what will happen.”

The survey also found that graduates in data analytics are in high demand, with 71 percent of responding employers planning to place recent graduates in data analytics roles in 2018. Other business functions where employers expect to place new graduates include business development (74 percent), marketing (70 percent), and finance (69 percent).

GMAC has conducted the Corporate Recruiters Survey since 2001 in partnership with the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance. Responses were collected from 1,066 employers in 42 countries.

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