Findings from the latest GMAC 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey report released by the Graduate Management Admission Council revealed that demand for MBA talent is strongest in Asia Pacific, where 90 percent of responding employers plan to make MBA hires in 2018.
Conducted in February and March this year, the survey data was drawn from responses from 1,066 employers in 42 countries worldwide who work directly with participating business schools.
“Over the past several years we have tracked positive trends in hiring of MBA and business master’s graduates,” GMAC president and CEO Sangeet Chowfla said.
“In the Asia Pacific region, hiring projections have remained strong. From the overall analysis, we see that MBA hiring overall is strong, but we are seeing the mix shift geographically.”
Overall, 81 percent of responding companies plan to hire MBA graduates in 2018. The survey revealed 85 percent of responding US companies and 64 percent of European companies planned to hire recent MBA graduates in 2018.
However, the data reflected a slight decline in projected hiring among US and European employers compared to 2017’s hiring plans.
Mr Chowfla said the softening in the in the intent to hire numbers for the US and Europe reflected the “global economic growth numbers we are seeing, and the prevailing political and student mobility issues”.
The Corporate Recruiters Survey also revealed that MBA graduates around the world have begun to expect a better salary base compared to direct-from-industry hires and bachelor’s degree hires, and many businesses have agreed to bring the number up.
“Graduates are commanding compensation premiums and companies are increasing starting salaries,” Mr Chowfla said.
Asia-Pacific companies will offer a median starting base salary of more than $47,000 to MBA hires.
Internships are path to jobs
The survey found that most employers planned to bring on MBA interns in 2018, with internships most prevalent in Asia Pacific and the United States where 65 percent and 62 percent of employers plan to offer them, respectively.
Internships continue to be an avenue to jobs for many business school graduates, with employers believing that they provide a way to understand a company, the culture and expectations and remain a good opportunity to obtain permanent positions.