MBA Job Market Continues To Improve

The 834 members of the class of 2012 were among the 4,444 graduate business school alumni from the classes of 2000-2012 surveyed about their work life and career trajectories in the global longitudinal survey. For all alumni from the classes of 2000-2012:

  • 96 percent were employed, up two percentage points from last year. Some 89 percent were working for an employer and 7 percent were self-employed.
  • Self-employment rates varied greatly depending on where alumni operated their business, ranging from 5 percent of those with businesses in the US to 20 percent of those working in the Middle East and Africa.  Self-employment rates were 6 percent in Asia/Pacific Islands, 11 percent in Europe, and 13 percent in Latin America.
  • Overall, 60 percent of alumni took out loans to pay for their education, but the proportions varied by program type, with 67 percent of full-time MBA alumni, 50 percent of executive MBA alumni, 48 percent of non-MBA specialized master’s alumni, and 47 percent of part-time MBA alumni taking out loans. Although more full-time MBA alumni have taken out loans compared with all other business school alumni, they also report the highest percentage of loan repayment and were least likely to express concern about their ability to repay their loans based on their current financial situation.
  • Alumni continue to value their degrees highly, with 95 percent rating the value of their education good to outstanding. Top career outcomes driving the value of their education were: increasingly challenging and interesting work, developing managerial and technical expertise, being able to start their own business, and increased professional network.
  • Using their leadership skills, thinking analytically, planning strategically, and solving problems are the key drivers of alumni job satisfaction.


Overall, 31% of the class of 2012 was employed in an industry that differed from the industry they intended when they started business school, GMAC said. This is slightly lower than the 33 percent of class of 2011 alumni who changed industries. Class of 2012 respondents who switched industries indicated they were inspired to switch when they learned about opportunities in different industries while meeting with employers and recruiters (38%) or while enrolled in school (34%). Additionally, 35% sought jobs in different industries due to increased earning potential. Some alumni also were influenced through their networking efforts with peers (23%) and alumni (19%). Despite working in a different industry than the one planned, 82% of Class of 2012 alumni said the job they took fit the type of employment they were seeking.

Two-thirds (65%) of the class of 2012 found employment in their intended job functions; only 35 percent were working in a job function they had not envisioned. Most of these alumni moved out of their original job functions into consulting roles. For example, 47 percent of alumni who planned to seek a marketing and sales position changed to consulting, and 50 percent of those intending to work in information and technology roles obtained a consulting position.