INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. LatAm Indian Trader
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. MBB to PE
GMAT 740, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. MBB Aspirant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7

What Employers Want From MBAs This Year

A group of MBA graduates wearing caps and gowns.It’s no secret that today’s job market is increasingly competitive for college graduates. Not only do business school grads compete against one another, they also compete against other college graduates and experienced workers.

So what exactly do employers want from MBAs in this year’s graduates? The results may surprise you.

You might think technical skills or pure competence would be more important than anything else in employers want from MBAs, but a new survey of corporate recruiters shows that employers most value communication skills in freshly minted graduates, followed by teamwork, technical, leadership, and then managerial skills. Communication skills, in fact, are on average twice as important as managerial skills. With the exception of one industry–manufacturing–this finding was true across all world regions and employers, regardless of company size or industry.

The results are from the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2014 annual corporate recruiters survey published today (May 18). Some 565 employers from 44 countries responded to the survey, including 36 companies in the Fortune 100. In the survey, employers were asked to assess the importance of the five overall skills. Employers also were asked for the first time to indicate the proficiency level for the specific skills in each category that they would require of a recent business school graduate being considered for a mid-level position in their companies.

For example, GMAC found that the top four skills in new hires that employers want from MBAs largely fall within the realm of communication. Oral communication and listening skills rank first and second, respectively, followed by written communication and presentation skills. The fifth most highly ranked skill sought in graduates was adaptability (see table below).

Skills Companies Demand In New MBAs & Other Graduate Business School Hires


A chart describing skills that employers want from MBAs

Source: 2014 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.