It’s no surprise that business school graduates want their educations
to translate into higher salaries. But they value work-life
balance just as highly. Recent graduates shared this sentiment in
a survey conducted by CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management
Education. Among 750 graduates of its master’s in management
program, 471 listed salary in their top three criteria for job selection.
However, nearly as many, 405, prioritized work-life balance. Others
valued opportunities for quick career progression (390) and the
ability to have an impact at an early stage in their careers (291).
The survey also asked respondents what skills they thought
would be most important to their future careers. The graduates
ranked soft skills such as persuasion, emotional intelligence, and
empathy as most important. These attributes were followed by
team leadership and motivation. They believed that these skills
would be more crucial to their careers than hard skills such as
data analysis and mathematical reasoning.
These results indicate that although these graduates are motivated
and ambitious, they “also want to lead balanced, well-rounded
lives and, more important, they want to make a positive impact
on the lives of others,” says Greg Whitwell, chair of CEMS and dean
of the University of Sydney Business School in Australia. These
students’ responses, he notes, send a clear message to employers—
that they need to offer more than high salaries if they want
to attract the best young talent.