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Nine out of 10 firms plan to hire MBA grads in 2017: GMAC Survey

BS Reporter | Ahmedabad Jun 21, 2017 07:46 PM IST
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Despite political uncertainty over immigration and work visas, demand for MBA graduates is seen to be highest among companies in the United States and Asia-Pacific, as found by an employment survey by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

GMAC, which conducts the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), found in its Corporate Recruiters Survey 2017 that globally 86 per cent or nearly nine out of 10 companies plan to hire recent MBA graduates this year, up from 79 per cent that hired them in 2016.

"Despite political uncertainty about the status of immigration and work visas in the United States and other parts of the world, companies are keen to hire graduates from this year's MBA and business masters' programmes, including international candidates," said Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO. "This signifies the value these programmes create for students and the vital role their skillsets bring to the employers."

Respondents from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the United States declared their companies are staying the course of plans to hire international graduate business candidates. Overall, 59 per cent of the survey respondents plan to hire or are willing to hire MBA and business master's graduates requiring legal documentation - a gain of seven percentage points from 2016.

About 55 per cent of US companies either plan to hire (28 per cent) or are open to hiring (27 per cent) an international candidate in 2017 - up from 49 per cent that had such plans last year. Among these, the technology industry in the US is most likely to hire international business graduates this year. Moreover, half of US tech firms plan to hire such candidates in 2017-up from 27 percent that planned to recruit them last year.

In terms of profiles, data analytics expertise continues to be in high demand. 69 per cent of employers plan to place recent graduate business school hires into data analytics roles in 2017, just trailing marketing, business development, and finance roles - each with 71 per cent.

Also, for the first time, this year's survey report breaks out the responses specifically among start-up companies, revealing a promising 2017 hiring outlook for business school graduates. Three out of four start-ups plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017, up from the 52 per cent that hired them in 2016. More start-ups also plan to make 2017 hires from graduates of Master in Management (37 per cent), Master of Accounting (23 per cent), and Master of Finance (25 percent) programmes.

Globally, 52 per cent of survey respondents report that MBA-based salaries will increase at (34 per cent) or above (18 per cent) the rate of inflation in 2017. Latin America (74 per cent of respondents) and Asia-Pacific (59 per cent) have the greatest share of companies that plan to increase MBA salaries.

A majority of European and US companies (57 per cent and 51 percent, respectively) will maintain 2016 salary rates for new MBA hires in 2017. The projected median base starting salary for recent MBA graduates in the US in 2017 is $110,000, up from a median of $105,000 in 2016. This represents an 83 per cent premium over recent bachelor's-degree holders in the US, who can expect to receive a median starting salary of $60,000 in 2017.

GMAC conducted the 16th annual Corporate Recruiters Survey in February and March 2017 together with survey partners EFMD and MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), in association with 97 participating graduate business schools. Survey findings are based on responses from 959 employers representing more than 628 companies in 51 countries worldwide. Two additional organisations, CEMS and RelishMBA, assisted with recruitment of survey participants.
"Once again, this year's report brings to light the continued value of the MBA degree to the marketplace," said Megan Hendricks, executive director of MBA CSEA. "The increased interest in speciality master's talent provides further indication of the relevance of these programmes at our member schools."

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