It also impacted how respondents valued key educational outcomes. For example, fewer entry-level and mid-level respondents saw their degree helping them in areas like career advancement, earnings power, and job satisfaction. Conversely, the C-level and executives believed their education better prepared them for leadership, developed their quantitative analysis skills, and enhanced their decision-making. They also tied their advanced education to more challenging and interesting work.
That said, most respondents considered their degree to be a solid investment. As a whole, 84% agreed that their education improved their job satisfaction. Another 85% believed it gave them opportunities for faster career advancement. When it came to leadership and career preparation, 91% and 87% of the sample credited their education.
Most important, the respondents viewed themselves as successful. On a 10-point scale, where 10 is considered “extremely successful,” 82% of respondents who work for an employer scored themselves with a 7 or above. Eighty-five per cent of those who described themselves as self-employed did the same.
MOOCS BECOMING POPULAR AMONG ADVANCED BUSINESS DEGREE HOLDERS
Regardless of degree, a graduate management education pays dividends after graduation. Eighty-four per cent of surveyed alumni claim to use “the knowledge, skills, and abilities they learned in graduate business school every day in their current jobs.” In fact, their education has instilled a thirst for life-long learning. Forty per cent plan to attend a professional seminar this year. More surprisingly, over a quarter of respondents expect to take a MOOC, a testament to the growing popularity of this medium. And don’t expect these professionals to rest on their laurels, as another 19% plan to enroll in a new certification program.
So which skills do alumni intend to sharpen in their continuing education? That depends on where you sit on the organizational chart. For the C-suite and executive level respondents, strategic and analytical thinking and human capital management tops the list. Communication skills appealed to all segments. Data reasoning and technical skills held the highest appeal for entry and mid-level employees (and the lowest appeal for the C-suite and the self-employed). Not surprisingly, career management attracted the unemployed, along with entry- and mid-level staffers.
OLDER GRADS GRAVITATE TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR
With their communitarian ideals and amplified social awareness, you’d expect Millennials to be flocking to the public sector. Surprisingly, it is the opposite. Thirty-two per cent of grads from 1980 or earlier – and 29% from 1980-1989 – are working for non-profits or the government. In fact, 2010-2014 grads are choosing the same fields as their predecessors: products and services (21%), finance and accounting (17%), technology (17%), and consulting (12%).
Despite this, the public sector is still the biggest draw for graduates overall, followed by products and services, finance and accounting, technology, manufacturing, and consulting. Among the self-employed, consulting is the top industry, followed by products and services, and finance and accounting.
In the U.S., products and services were the most popular sector (followed closely by finance and accounting and technology). Here, nearly 50% of graduates worked in finance and accounting or marketing and sales, with the majority employed by multinationals (often with 5,000 or more employees).
TARGET ALUMNI ASSOCATION MEMBERS FOR NETWORKING
If you’re looking to network with alumni, whether you’re seeking an account or a job, your best bet is to connect with members of your school’s alumni association. While only 59% of respondents belonged to their association, members tended to rate the value of their education higher. And they were more likely to recommend their alma mater and stay in touch with their former classmates.
But choose your contacts wisely. Barely a third (38%) of the sample was interested in mentoring recent graduates. And less than a fourth (22%) would recruit fellow alumni to their employers.
DON’T MISS: GMAC: Fewer Woman in MBA Applicant Pool
To see GMAC’s infographic on the results, go to the next page.