Why Employers Hire MBA Grads

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Why do companies hire MBA graduates?

The reasons are likely to surprise many, in part because they vary all over the world. U.S. employers primarily value MBA hires for their innovative thinking, new perspective, and support of corporate growth. The European companies that recruit MBAs list, in order of importance, company growth, succession planning, and business acumen.

What companies seek in their MBA hires also changes by industry. In consulting, which hires more elite MBAs off business school campuses than any other single industry, firms are searching for MBAs who fit with the company culture, who have the ability to work in and build strong teams, and boast the ability to have an impact. Also high on the list is a graduate’s adaptability, strong business ethics, and leadership potential.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) recently surveyed corporate recruiters who hire business school graduates on a regular basis and asked them to name the top 10 performance traits and abilities in recruiting and hiring business school talent. It also asked employers in the four major regions of the world — the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific — why they hire MBAs. The GMAC 2016 Corporate Recruiters Survey is based on a total of 842 responding employers located in 40 countries worldwide, including adequate sample sizes to report details for Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. The survey was conducted between Feb. 10 and March 13 of 2016.


In the U.S., the survey found that the largest source of jobs for those with graduate business degrees came from companies that employ 10,000 or more employers. Those larger corporations made up 55% of the responding recruiters. The No. 1 reason to hire MBAs and others with graduate degrees in business? Succession planning. They want to bring in business talent to make sure they have highly qualified people to succeed others already in place.

Source: 2016 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Source: 2016 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey


In Asia-Pacific, the survey found that the companies with more than 10,000 employees are also the largest single employer of business graduates, making up a third of the total recruiters, while firms with fewer than 100 employers came next and were not far behind, representing 26% of the responding recruiters. More than any other reason, Asia-Pacific companies are bringing on MBAs and other advanced-degree graduates in business to gain new perspectives.

Source: 2016 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

Source: 2016 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey

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