MBA Graduates Served Up Greater Job Prospects & Starting Salaries

Companies are helping MBA graduates see their true value in the workplace, with more multiple jobs offered at once and more offers in the six-figure salary range.

A recent New York MBA employment survey conducted by Training The Street (TTS) revealed that in 2018, 46% of MBA grads looking for new employment are fielding employment offers with starting salaries of at least $125,000 per year.

At the same time, the number of graduates who received three or more job offers increased to 28% from 22% a year ago.

“The war for talent is as strong as ever, and top candidates are in high demand, leading to higher starting salaries and multiple job offers,” TTS CEO Scott Rostan said.

“Demand for MBAs remains strong, but firms are being more discerning in an effort to recruit those who can step in and contribute right away.”

This discerning attitude from business firms to hire only the best has led to a rise in optimism in MBA graduates, whose advanced business qualifications has given them new confidence that it would ultimately be more likely they would be hired.

The survey revealed that optimism about employment prospects after school was 55% over 54% last year of graduates who said they were “very optimistic”, and a lower number of respondents (32%) consider themselves “somewhat” optimistic versus 39% last year. A total of 12% described themselves as “neutral” or “somewhat pessimistic” versus 8% that used the same terms last year.

The added optimism, greater hiring opportunities and higher salary figures have, according to TTS, created hints of unease. Their findings revealed there was a big drop off in the number of MBAs saying they were satisfied with their job offers –  32% versus 45% last year.

There was also a doubling – 14% against 7% – in the number of MBAs who said they were “dissatisfied” with their job offers. The number of graduates who did not receive any employment offers remained about the same as last year, at 17%.

The survey also revealed that a much larger percentage of MBA graduates expressed a preference for working in consulting as compared to a traditional large firm. Almost one in three grads (31%) said working in consulting was their number one choice.

That compared with 20% a year earlier. The same number of those surveyed last year – 19% – said they hoped to work for a bulge bracket firm.

Mr Rostan said the surge in MBAs hoping to work in consulting may reflect greater marketing efforts by consulting firms.

More than half of respondents – 51% – said consulting firms actively recruited them, up from 43% last year. Those who said they were recruited by bulge bracket firms slipped to 38% from 43% a year earlier.

“We’ve seen a concerted effort on behalf of the big consulting firms to attract the strongest, young talent coming out of the nation’s business schools,” Mr Rostan said.

“The results indicate that their efforts have paid off, as more MBAs see consulting firms as their top choice.”

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 (