MBA Professionals Demand For Remote Work Continues to Increase

Remote work on the rise for MBAs and other working professionals. Photo by Chris Montgomery.

If you regularly look at key employment trends and patterns in the United States to help predict what lies ahead for the Australian workforce, then the latest research released by career website Ladders, Inc, is signifying that the rate of MBAs or other professionals applying for remote jobs in the $100,000+ category is on the rise.

The Q3 2022 Quarterly Remote Work report by Ladders Inc revealed that 36% of high-paying professional jobs are now remote. This starkly contrasts pre-pandemic job adverts, where only 4% of North American jobs were advertised as permanently remote.

With 18% of all jobs across the U.S. and Canada hiring remote workers by the last quarter of 2021, Ladders’ own prediction of a more conservative increase to 25% by the end of 2022 has been far exceeded.

Industries With The Most Remote Work Options

Ladders, a career site for jobs paying $100,000 or more, has been tracking remote work since the pandemic began. Last summer, it released data from the top 50,000 North American employers showing that while there were just over 7,000 high-paying remote positions in March 2020, there were more than 80,000 by July 2021. Another three million jobs had transitioned to permanently remote by the last quarter of 2021.

Its Q3 2022 report analysed data collected from before the pandemic to present day.

“The 11 percent increase above our prediction indicates that remote work has been embraced widely by employees and businesses and will continue to be embraced,” said Dave Fisch, CEO of Ladders. “Our data show that demand for a permanent remote work option has caused major companies to yield.”

“Overall, the outlook for remote work is solid, with inflation undeniably playing a significant role,” said Fisch. “If recession does occur, remote work could offer a solution to many businesses, due to low costs and high productivity.”

A survey from Highered released in August 2022 gives some credence to the idea that remote work is here to stay. Some 49% of MBAs and business students reported that they want hybrid — onsite and remote — work no matter their job role. Meanwhile, onsite working was the least-preferred option among students at 24% and 26% of surveyed students said they would not work for an employer who did not offer remote working.

“Having studied remotely for much of the Covid pandemic, students are looking to continue this way of working in their careers,” said Amber Wigmore Alvarez, chief talent officer at Highered, in the Highered survey. “It is a trend that is not going away and is the future for recruitment of graduates from business schools.”

On Inflation, Recession, & Quiet Quitting

When Ladders first predicted that remote hiring would reach 25% of new hires by the end of 2022, many were skeptical. The 36% increase by Q3, a full quarter earlier than anticipated, indicates that both employees and businesses are embracing the trend.

“Current attempts to shift focus away from remote work, such as policies attempting to create hybrid solutions, only show that the remote work option remains popular. The number of quits remain steady within Q3, with a rate of 2.7% for the third consecutive month, and represent a strong desire in the US for improved work-life balance,” the report stated.

Ladders expects the trend to continue in 2023.

Inflation fluctuated from 8.5% in July, 8.3% in August, and 8.2% in September, remaining high enough to make employees think twice about career moves based on remote status alone. Despite that, quit rates hit 4.2 million jobs in July, 4.2 million August, and 4.1 million in September, according to the report. This could indicate that professionals are still willing to change jobs in search of work-life balance, even when economic conditions are unfavourable.

Meanwhile, despite the turbulence, unemployment rates matched the 50-year low reached in 2020, registering at 3.5% in July, 3.7% in August, and 3.5% in September. This shows that the labour market is still strong enough to give workers choice. Adding to the complexity? A recent Gallup poll found that “quiet quitters” make up at least 50% of the US workforce, the report noted.

“The volatile muddying of the waters caused by the war in Ukraine and two years of the pandemic have created confusion; however, the remote work experiment did play its part in record high profits for businesses across industries during the pandemic period,” the report noted.

“Perceptions, as well as realities, could inform planning across industries, with some companies who support the in-office structure feeling they will gain ‘the upper hand’ in 2023. At the time of writing, such an attitude represents a sizable gamble. Overall, the outlook for remote work is solid, with inflation playing a part and hybrid solutions widely reported as difficult to implement. If recession does occur, remote work could offer a solution to many businesses, due to low costs and high productivity.”

10 Job Titles From Top 50 With The Most Remote Opportunities

So, you’re an MBA graduate or a working professional – where should you look for a remote opportunity?

Ladders’ Q3 report also identifies the ten leading job titles, fields, industries and companies with the highest percentage of remote jobs.

  1. Senior Software Engineer
  2. Data Analyst
  3. Business Development Manager
  4. Data Engineer
  5. Product Manager
  6. Project Manager
  7. Customer Success Manager
  8. Regional Sales Manager
  9. Solutions Architect
  10. Software Developer

For more details, read the full Ladders Inc Q3 2022 report.

Jess Singh Jess Singh is the Managing Editor at MBA News. She has over a decade of content and digital marketing experience in the Australian higher education sector. Jess is also the Chief Content Officer of RGC Media & Marketing (