MBA Job Market Among The Best Ever

Source: 2014 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Source: 2014 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

It’s an awfully good time to be an MBA student and an even better time to graduate with the degree.

A new survey of corporate recruiters out today (May 18) shows that worldwide more companies plan to hire MBAs and other business school graduates in 2014. Some 80% of business school recruiters plan to employ MBAs in 2014, up seven percentage points from last year and 30 percentage points higher than 2009, in the heart of the economic crisis, when just half of employers hired MBAs.

The outlook is even better in the U.S. Some 86% of U.S. employers said they plan to hire MBAs in 2014, up from an already high 81% last year. Hiring demand for this year’s crop of MBA graduates, moreover, has increased in every single industry, from consulting and finance to health care and technology, and in every region of the country, with the exception of the south where it is flat.

ABOUT 45% OF THE HIRING COMPANIES WILL INCREASE BASE PAY TO MBAS THIS YEAR

Hiring companies also expect to pay median starting salaries of $95,000 for MBAs in the U.S., similar to last year, according to the survey. The majority of employers said they plan to maintain salaries for this year’s hires at 2013 levels. Some 27% of the responding companies said they plan to increase base pay at the rate of inflation, while another 18% expect to increase starting pay at levels above the inflation rate.

That’s just some of the very good news from the  13th annual Corporate Recruiters Survey of 565 employers from 44 countries was conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT exam. The job market research, including 32 of the top 100 companies in the FT 500 and 36 of the Fortune 100, was conducted in February and March. This year’s report was done in partnership with the European Foundation for Management Development and the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance.

A spokesperson for GMAC said the 80% global hiring number for MBAs is the highest ever reported since 2008 when the organization first starting breaking out the MBA number. The spokesperson could not confirm whether the 86% number for U.S. employers was a record, but it is best in recent memory.

MBA HIRING WILL BE THE HIGHEST SINCE THE GREAT RECESSION STARTED IN 2009

“More companies in all sectors and across the world plan to hire business school graduates, with projected hiring rates the highest for all degree types since the Great Recession started in 2009,” said Sangeet Chowfla, CEO and president of GMAC, in a statement. “MBAs have always been valued by employers, but this survey shows that as the economy improves, employers see MBAs as a good investment into their future.”

Hiring demand for MBA graduates is high across all regions of the U.S., ranging from 81% of employers in the south to 91% of companies in the midwest, according to GMAC. The largest increase in the percentage of companies expecting to hire MBAs this year is seen in the West, with 87% of companies planning to hire MBAs in 2014, compared with 76% last year (see below table).

Things look less rosy for graduates of one-year master’s of management programs which have been growing at a much faster rate than the full-time MBA business in recent years. In the northeast, for example, employee hiring of MM candidates is expected to fall to 34% this year from 42% last year, while 31% of employers in the midwest plan to hire, down from 33% in 2013. A good part of the decline in those regions, however, will be offset in the west where 47% of employers say they expect to hire MM graduates, up from only 32% the previous year.

Percentage of U.S. Firms That Hired Or Plan To Hire Business Grads

Source: 2014 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Source: 2014 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey