GMAC Survey Reveals ‘Robust’ Post-MBA Job Market

Companies working directly with business schools plan to hire more MBAs this year than they hired in 2015, according to a global survey report released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

The 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.

Some 88 percent of corporate recruiters say they plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2016, up eight percentage points from last year and 33 percentage points higher than 2010, the lowest point of the Great Recession.

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GMAC conducted 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.

This report highlights the value that on-campus recruiting brings to job-seeking business school graduates.

For the first time, GMAC broadened its reach among employers by conducting a supplemental survey of an employer sample purchased through an outside private vendor.

This “General Population Employer Survey” yielded responses from 1,282 companies located in the six largest markets for graduate management education — China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The results show overall that half of the companies responding to the supplemental survey have plans to hire an MBA in 2016 — ranging from 35 percent of companies in Germany to 70 percent of companies in China.

“The difference in hiring projections between the two surveys highlights the value business schools provide to students in connecting them with employers that want to hire them,” said Bob Alig, GMAC’s executive vice president for school products. “These results are compelling evidence for admissions professionals to demonstrate the value of a graduate business degree to prospective applicants.”

“This survey brings to light the enhanced opportunities our member school career services offices bring to graduate business students,” said Damian Zikakis, MBA CSEA president and director, Career Services, at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

“Nearly 9 in 10 employers that work with career services plan to conduct on-campus recruitment this year, giving students a tremendous advantage in finding job opportunities that are a great match for their talent and aspirations,” Zikakis added.


Globally, more than half (54 percent) of employers plan to increase MBA starting salaries either at the rate of inflation (33 percent of respondents) or above (21 percent); 46 percent will keep starting MBA salaries the same as 2015.

  • These MBA salary projections for 2016 are similar to those projected for new hires with non-MBA business master’s degrees, with one exception: 67 percent of companies that plan to hire graduates with Master in Supply Chain Management degrees expect to increase their starting salaries either at the rate of inflation (46 percent) or above (20 percent).
  • US-based companies plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting base salary of US$105,000 in 2016, up from a median of US$100,000 in 2015.
  • The median starting base salary of US$85,000 that US employers will pay to graduates of both Master of Data Analytics and Master of Marketing programs is expected to exceed the median salary they will offer to graduates of Master in Management and Master of Accounting programs.


Overall, 52 percent of corporate recruiters report that their companies either have plans to hire (24 percent) or are willing to consider hiring (28 percent) recent business school graduates who require additional legal documentation, such as work permits or visas.

  • Nearly a third (30 percent) of companies that plan to hire business school graduates in 2016 will place these candidates in multiple world regions.

“A graduate business degree is rewarding from a personal, professional and financial standpoint no matter which country you study in,” said Eric Cornuel, director general and CEO of EFMD. “The advantages students get from on-campus recruitment will pay dividends throughout their careers.”

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