More Evidence That the MBA Job Market Is Warming Up

MBA AdmissionsToday the Graduate Management Admission Council issued a release declaring the MBA job market to be on the mend, with 2010 average compensation levels for gradates from the last decade rising above levels seen in 2007. Last year the median base salary for surveyed alumni was greater than $94,500, a gain of more than $5,000 per year compared to pre-recession base salary levels in 2007.

More grads seemed to land jobs, too: 93% of those surveyed said that they were employed, compared to just 90% of the recent grads who were surveyed in 2009 (although it’s still a tick lower than the 95% of alumni who reported being employed in 2007). So, is it safe to come out from our bunkers and declare the job market robust again?

Well, when we look just at median starting salaries for new grads, the picture is less rosy, although by no means disastrous. For Class of 2010 grads, the median salary level came in at $78,820, actually down slightly from $79,271 for the Class of 2009 (and down further from $80,000 in 2008). While these aren’t big swings in either direction, the continued small downward trend suggests that the hiring environment for new grads (if you’re applying to business school now, this is the number that matters most to you now) hasn’t quite heated up yet.

But “hasn’t quite heated up yet” is far better than “is colder than a popsicle in Antarctica,” so we still consider this to be good news. Or, at least the bad news seems to have stopped coming. We expect that the next year or two will bring more of these small, incremental bits of good news.

You can download the full GMAC report here (PDF).

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