MBA Employment Outlook on the Mend But Still Challenging, GMAC Survey Finds

June 1, 2010

LONDON, June 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The job market for new business
school graduates remains difficult, but there are clear signs that employers
are becoming increasingly confident about the economy – and more eager to
hire – according to newly released data from the Graduate Management
Admission Council (GMAC).

The percentage of employers in European Union planning to hire newly
minted MBAs is up this year compared with 2009, although the number of new
hires per company is expected to decline slightly, GMAC researchers found in
their annual survey of recruiters. Forty-four percent of respondents to the
GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey whose firms are based in the E.U. said they
planned to hire new MBA graduates in 2010, reversing a sharp drop in 2009,
when the comparable figure fell to 36 percent from 44 percent the year
before. Graduates of other types of master’s-level business programs also
should see their prospects improve in 2010, the survey data suggest.

“Employers have spoken clearly. The intrinsic value they place on the
skills people develop in business school does not rise and fall just because
the economy does,” said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, an
international non-profit association of leading business schools and owner of
the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used by thousands of business
schools worldwide as part of the admissions process. “Management talent is
always critical to the well-being of any organization, and as conditions
improve, employers will find ways to acquire more of that talent.”

The top industries in terms of predicted job opportunities for new MBA
graduates in 2010 are consulting and health care. Worldwide, positions in
marketing and sales are likely to be most plentiful, followed by
finance-related slots in areas other than investment banking. Employers in
the E.U., meanwhile, are most likely to recruit recent MBAs to work in
business development roles, according to the survey.

Employers plan to pay a significant premium for MBA talent, particularly
in Europe. The average starting salary recruiters in the E.U. plan to offer
new MBAs this year is EUR65,419, about 80 percent more than the EUR36,405
average salary people with only a bachelor’s degree can expect to receive.
Worldwide, new MBAs can expect to receive a salary that averages EUR61,769.

In a particularly positive development for job-seekers, the survey
indicates that employers are shifting away from an emphasis on cost-cutting
and retrenchment and paying more attention to growing their businesses.
Overall, 60 percent of respondents said they planned to expand their customer
bases in 2010, up from just 49 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, the proportion
of respondents concentrating on cost-cutting as a key organizational goal
dropped from 66 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010. Improving performance
remained the top priority for survey participants.

The findings of a separate GMAC survey indicate that employer optimism
may take a while to translate into actual job openings. The percentage of
graduates from full-time two-year MBA programs worldwide who had an offer of
employment prior to finishing school dropped to 40 percent in 2010 from 50
percent the previous year, according to the latest GMAC Graduate Management
Education Graduate Survey. The number of job offers reported by survey
participants in these MBA programs who did land positions declined about 13
percent. Still, students graduating in 2010 were slightly more optimistic
about the economy than people in the class of 2009.

The GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, conducted in cooperation with the
MBA Career Services Council and EFMD (European Foundation for Management
Development), reflects responses from 2,367 employers representing 1,960
companies in 57 countries. The GMAC Graduate Management Education Graduate
Survey collected data from 5,274 graduating students at 147 business schools
around the world. Both surveys were conducted from mid-February to mid-March.
Reports about the surveys are available online at http://www.gmac.com/surveys.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (http://www.gmac.com) is a
nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools
worldwide dedicated to creating access to and disseminating information about
graduate management education. GMAC is based in McLean, Virginia, and has a
European office in London. The GMAT was created in 1954 and is used by more
than 4,800 graduate management programs at nearly 1,900 business schools
around the world to assess applicants. The GMAT-the only standardized test
designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide-is
currently available at approximately 500 test centers in over 110 countries.
More information about the GMAT is available at http://www.mba.com.


    Sam Silverstein, GMAC
    Email: ssilverstein@gmac.com
    Office: +1-703-245-4317

SOURCE GMAC (The Graduate Management Admission Council)

Source: newswire

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