Employer demand for MBAs continues to grow

2015_CorporateR_Hiring_Demand_Up_TwitterEmployer demand for recent business school graduates continues to show a strong upward trend with 84 percent of companies worldwide planning to add new MBAs to their workforce in 2015 — up from 74 percent in 2014 and 62 percent five years ago.

Seventy-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies reported they plan to hire recent MBA graduates this year, compared to 69 percent last year.

The 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey, conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) drew responses from 748 employers in 47 countries around the world, including 46 companies listed in the Fortune 100. Conducted by GMAC annually since 2001, the survey provides a view into the current employment landscape, gauges the demand for MBA and master-level business graduates, and offers insight into hiring practices and trends across industries and world regions.

“The MBA, as an area of study valued by employers, is showing more strength than ever with hiring of new graduates projected to rise for the third year in a row,” said Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO. “Employer demand for recent business school graduates, notably those skilled in data analytics, continues to increase as companies expect these new workers to use data to drive business decisions starting the moment they’re hired. Students of any undergraduate background would do well to consider taking a graduate management degree because of the contributions it can make to their career aspirations.”

Regional highlights from the survey show:

  • More than 9 in 10 (92 percent) companies in the United States plan to hire MBA graduates in 2015 — up from 80 percent that hired MBAs in 2014. The proportion of U.S. companies with plans to hire specialised business master’s candidates in 2015 is 12 to16 percentage points higher than the share of companies that hired them in 2014.
  • More than half of European-based companies plan to hire MBAs (56 percent of employers, up from 53 percent in 2014) and Master in Management graduates (52 percent, up from 51 percent).
  • A larger share of Latin American companies plan to hire MBA and Master of Finance graduates this year compared to the share that hired them last year. Seventy five percent plan to hire MBAs (up from 69 percent that hired MBAs last year) and 61 percent plan to Master of Finance graduates (up from just 32 percent that hired them last year).

“When companies express a focus on growth, it appears they return to MBA hiring,” Chowfla said. “Whereas in the past, when priorities such as managing the enterprise or cost control were foremost on a company’s agenda, employers appeared to favor hiring more specialized graduates. This is an aspect of the hiring market we’ve observed through our research and one which will require more study to provide the deeper insights that can help both students and schools navigate the hiring market.”

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).