This Year’s MBA Job Market Better Than Ever

money, salary, pay

Can the job market for business school grads get any better? Apparently, it can.

Companies working directly with business schools plan to hire more MBAs this year than they hired in 2015, according to a global survey report published today (June 20) by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Some 88% of corporate recruiters who work directly with graduate business schools plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2016, up 8 percentage points from last year and 33 percentage points higher than 2010, the lowest point of the Great Recession.

Demand for MBAs was up in every industry category measured by GMAC. In consulting, the percentage of companies hiring MBAs worldwide rose to 92% from 83%. In finance and accounting, it went to 84% from 76%, while in products and services, demand rose 10 percentage points, to 86% from 76%. Technology saw the smallest rise, a 2-percentage-point gain to 84% from 82%.

The past six years has seen extraordinary gains in MBA employment, resulting in record salaries and placement results at many of the leading business schools. “What’s standing out is the continued robust hiring market,” says Gregg Schoenfeld, research director at GMAC. “This is one of the highest years of companies saying they will hire MBAs. Even before the recession, back in 2007, only 64% of companies were planning to hire MBAs in the year ahead. These latest numbers are even more optimistic than when we did the survey back in December, when three-quarters of the companies said they would hire MBAs.”

Already, there are indications that the strong recovery will extend into a seventh year. GMAC found that nearly 9 in 10 (89%) companies plan to conduct on-campus recruitment in 2016, up from 85% in 2015. U.S.-based companies, moreover, plan to offer recent MBA graduates a starting median base salary of $105,000 in 2016, up from a median of $100,000 in 2015.


Source: 2016 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Source: 2016 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Though job opportunities vary for international graduates depending on the region in which their business school resides, some 52% of corporate recruiters report that their companies either have plans to hire (24%) or are willing to consider hiring (28%) recent business school graduates who require additional legal documentation, such as work permits or H1-B visas. Nearly a third (30%) of companies that plan to hire business school graduates in 2016 will place these candidates in multiple world regions.

GMAC found that companies in the consulting (33% of respondents), manufacturing (29%), technology (27%), and finance (26%) sectors are more likely than others to have plans to hire international candidates requiring visas. Although 25% of employers in the United States have specific plans to hire international candidates — a higher proportion than companies in Asia-Pacific or Europe — a majority (51%) of U.S. companies report that they have no plans to hire such candidates, a far greater percentage than employers in other regions.

The results come from the 15th annual corporate recruiters survey in February and March together with survey partners EFMD and MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), in association with 109 participating graduate business schools. The GMAC survey findings are based on responses from 842 employers representing more than 530 companies in 40 countries worldwide who recruit directly from participating business schools.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.