There’s more good news for next year’s new crop of MBA graduates. A new survey published today (Dec. 15) shows that more than three-quarters of employers that plan to hire business school graduates expect to maintain or increase their hiring from this year. What’s more, more than half (56%) of employers plan to increase base salaries for recent MBA graduates at (45%) or above (11%) the rate of inflation.
That’s according to the year-end poll of business school employers by the Graduate Management Admission Council. The poll of 211 employers in 33 countries serves as an early gauge of next year’s job market and includes one-fifth of the Fortune 100 and close to 50 Fortune 500 companies.
“Actual hiring for 2013 and projected hiring for 2014 are much improved from a few years ago, despite persistent uncertainty in the global economy,” said Rebecca Estrada, GMAC survey manager, in a statement. “In addition, between 45% and 58% of employers plan to increase annual base salaries at or above the rate of inflation, another indicator that demand for talent remains strong.”
The new poll projects some optimism for direct-from-industry hires and master in management graduates, as the percentages of employers who expect to hire in these categories is five percentage points higher than the percentage that actually hired them last year (87% vs. 82% in 2013 for direct-industry hires and 42% vs. 37% in 2013 for master in management graduates).
In most categories, GMAC said, the percentages of employers planning to hire new graduates in most categories are very similar to the percentages of those who hired these graduates in 2013:
- 72% expect to hire MBAs, compared with 71% that hired them this year, making MBA graduates the most sought-after candidate type among all business school graduates.
- 81% expect to hire bachelor’s degree holders, compared with 82% that hired them this year.
- 36% expect to hire master of accounting graduates, compared with 35% that hired them this year.
- 35% expect to hire master of finance graduates, compared with 36% that hired them this year.
The poll also found the vast majority of employers agree that business school graduates need to have exceptional interpersonal skills (97 percent) and the ability to use data to drive decisions (98 percent).
The vast majority (88%) of employers also told GMAC they plan to offer internship opportunities for graduate business students. Internships continue to be less available for students in master-level programs in management, accounting, and finance, and other specialized business master’s programs. The vast majority of employers who currently offer internships to these students intend to keep the projected number of internships the same as or higher than those offered in 2013. Some 61% of employers plan to extend internship opportunities to MBA students.
Expected Change in 2014 Average Base Salaries