Increasingly, Corporations Expect to Hire Business Graduates

Although the hiring market for MBA graduates has improved over the past several years to pre-recession levels, the outlook is stronger than it has been since before the recession, according to the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey.

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An excellent barometer of hiring trends, the 2016 GMAC survey, conducted with survey partners EFMD, MBA CSEA and 109 business schools worldwide, drew responses from 842 employers from more than 530 companies in 40 countries worldwide.

Strongest demand for MBAs in a decade

Nearly 90 percent of recruiters said they planned to work with business schools to hire new graduates of MBA programs. Even though the numbers in previous years have been inching upward, the 2016 data represented an eight-point jump (88 percent) over 2015. That’s up 33 percent compared to 2010.

Resurgent corporate interest in MBA students is one reason ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business has seen higher demand for its students. In fact, 95 percent of Full-time MBA students graduating in 2016 had accepted an offer within 90 days of graduation, up four percent from 2015.

As the name suggests, W. P. Carey Full-time MBA students return to school full-time, but what do these findings mean for students in part-time MBA programs, such as the Evening, Online, or Executive MBA? For students who continue to work while earning their degree, it means that — because organizations are seeking the skills acquired by MBA students, as well as the insights they’ve gained through recent case studies and advancing curricula — part-time students are equally well-positioned for new positions or to advance further within their current company.

Alumni see the long-lasting benefits of a graduate degree

In a separate GMAC survey polling alumni of graduate management education programs, 93 percent indicated that their degree was personally rewarding, while 89 and 75 percent said it was professionally and financially rewarding, respectively. Asked if they would pursue their degree again if they could, 93 percent responded that they would.

The ROI of a graduate degree in business outpaces that of other degrees, and alumni indicate that, on average, their degree has paid for itself within four years. The ROI metric gathered by GMAC has remained positive in 19 of the past 20 years surveyed. In fact, over the remainders of the careers, business school alumni can expect to make a median of $2.5 million in cumulative base salary, compared to just $2 million over their careers without a master’s degree.

The impact of a master’s degree in business is undeniable

When it comes to the value of your degree, take it from the people who are hiring talent and from the talent they’re hiring: An MBA or a specialized master’s degree in business just makes sense. It’s a degree that pays you back quickly and gives you a distinct advantage in the job market.