Class of 2010 Getting Jobs at Higher Rates

Nearly nine in 10 MBA and other graduate management alumni from the class of 2010 had a job after graduation, according to a new survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The results, released today (Nov. 11, 2010), represent a slight improvement from 2009, when 84 percent of new graduate business school alumni said they were employed after receiving their degree.

MBA and other graduate management students in the class of 2010 also said they received higher starting salaries, on average, than their counterparts from the class of 2009, according to the latest GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey. The median starting salary for 2010 graduates was $78,820, up from $75,000 for alumni who graduated in 2009.

The report from GMAC, which administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), paints a much rosier picture of MBA employment than a recent survey by BusinessWeek of the top 30 business schools in the U.S. The BW report showed that this year, on average, about 12 percent of graduates at the top 30 schools, or one in eight, still hadn’t received even one job offer three months after graduation. The magazine said this is an improvement from last year, when one in five students were jobless three months after graduation.

The BW survey also showed that salaries are flat or down at 23 of the 30 schools, with starting pay averaging $97,049, inching up only $549 from 2009. Meanwhile, the much-coveted signing bonus has also seen a fall from favor, with 23 of the schools reporting that the percentage of students with jobs receiving signing bonuses is down, some by 20 percentage points or more from a year earlier.

“Companies are managing through an unprecedented economic environment,” said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, in a statement. “It is precisely because of these pressures that they place such a high value on newly minted MBAs to help them survive and thrive.”

According to the survey, business school alumni also strongly believe the degree has helped their career. About three-quarters of alumni indicated they could not have obtained their current job without their graduate business degree.

The survey results indicate that today’s business school graduates are faring better than their counterparts did following the last recession. For example, just 72 percent of participants in the 2003 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey were employed after graduation, compared with 88 percent this year.

The GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey was conducted in September 2010. The survey reflects data supplied by 824 alumni from the class of 2010 who attended graduate management education programs at 126 business schools around the world. More information about the class of 2010 alumni can be found at