Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Stanford GSB | Ms. 2+2 Tech Girl
GRE 333, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthcare Operations To General Management
GRE 700, GPA 7.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Engineer In The Military
GRE 310, GPA 3.9
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Oil & Gas Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 6.85/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98

‘Lack Of Skills, Creativity’ Main Obstacles In Global MBA Hiring Market

Candidates waiting for job interviews

Broadly, respondents tended to rate MBAs fairly well on overall general work skills. When asked if the agreed or disagreed that “MBAs have the skills that meet the needs of the organization” 33% strongly agreed and 53% tended to agree. Just 2% tended to disagree. Similarly, 49% tended to agree MBAs are good problem solvers while another 32% strongly agreed. Nearly half (48%) tended to agree and 22% strongly agreed MBAs have adequate soft skills. And 69% either tended to agree or strongly agreed that MBAs brought more benefits to the organization than non-MBAs.

The differences between MBAs being rated well for broad general management skills but not well for technical skills makes sense and points to where B-schools can develop how they train MBAs. Most MBA programs take the general management approach and put more technical-focused skills into electives, opt-in concentrations, or entirely separate degree programs. To help shrink some of these skill gaps, B-schools could begin to require more technical courses focused on technologies like AI or augmented reality.

AMBA and BGA study graph

AMBA and BGA also asked employers how they thought B-schools are producing leaders with “mindsets appropriately focused” on six different areas including maximizing profit, making decisions that consider environmental impacts, belief in diverse workforces, prioritizing their team’s welfare, being mindful of those on lower incomes, and having an international outlook.

Perhaps not surprisingly, employers think B-schools do a really good job of MBAs focused on maximizing profits and having an international outlook but not so much on being mindful of those with lower incomes. A whopping 92% agreed a “great deal” or “to some extent” that B-schools prepared MBAs with a mindset to focus on maximizing profits. But just 44% either agreed a great deal or to some extent that B-schools were prepping students to be mindful of those on lower incomes.

Employers also believe B-schools are doing a solid job of producing MBAs with a global mindset as 92% either agreed a great deal or to some extent that B-schools are producing MBAs to “have an international outlook.” Some 84% of respondents also rated B-schools as producing MBAs that believe in diverse workforces. The numbers dropped a bit for prioritizing their team’s welfare, which had 72% of respondents agree a great deal or to some extent. As for making decisions while considering environmental impact, just 68% of respondents agreed a great deal or to some extent that B-schools were producing MBAs to take into account environment in decision making.

AMBA and BGA study graph

Employers rated MBAs well for having soft skills and being “well prepared for the fast-moving pace of business.” Two-thirds of respondents said they strongly agreed or tended to agree that “MBAs have good soft skills.” And more than three-quarters (78%) strongly agreed or tended to agree that MBAs were well prepared for the fast pace of business. Less than half (44%) said they strongly agreed or tended to agree that MBA graduates are only motivated by money.

AMBA and BGA study graph

But when getting a foot in the door, some of that data might not matter that much. When looking to hire candidates for senior-level jobs, personality and character matter among most employers. Some 80% of respondents reported personality and character “stand out” about candidates during the recruitment process. At the bottom? Just 39% list personal presentation as something that stands out during the recruitment process. Educational qualifications also matters among fewer employers (57%) than past work experience (75%).

AMBA and BGA study graph

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