MBA Job Market Still Gloomy, But Improving

Free Business School GuidesLast week the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced the results of a new employer survey that suggests that while the job market for MBA grads is still rough, we may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The reason for the optimism? The percentage of employers planning to hire MBA is up this year compared with 2009, although the number of new hires per company is expected to decline slightly.

After a sharp drop in stated hiring intentions last year (down to 50%), in this year’s survey about 55% of employers who participated in the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey said they planned to hire new MBA grads this year. What may be even more promising for the job market is that employers also indicated they may finally be shifting away from cost-cutting in favor of trying to grow their businesses again.

In a statement that accompanied the release of the survey results, GMAC President Dave Wilson said:

“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. 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.”

So, if you’re in business school now or plan to apply to an MBA program this year, you may actually land a good job when you graduate, after all. However, it may take a while for MBA grads’ salaries to start growing again. A separate GMAC survey found that only 40% of full-time, two-year MBA program graduates had at least one job offer before finishing school, down from 50% in 2009. And, the number of job offers reported by the grads who participated in this study declined by about 13% from the previous year. (By the way, our 100% free Annual Reports provide job placement info and much more, for 15 of the world’s top MBA programs.)

So, although companies are saying the right things, there still remains a large number of new and and recent grads looking for MBA-level work. As long as that glut of talent is out there, salaries for new MBA grads probably won’t grow much. But, “Will I get a job??” is still the primary question on most business school students’ minds, and for the first time in a while, the answer to this question looks to be turning toward the affirmative.

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