MBA Job Prospects Improving, Survey Finds

MBA Job Prospects Improving, Survey Finds
It may be early to break out the Champagne, but MBA employment and salaries are getting better (Photograph by Martin Adolfsson/Gallery Stock)
Photograph by Martin Adolfsson/Gallery Stock

MBAs who received their degrees since 2000 are faring modestly better in the job market than they were a year ago, new research shows.

The research is based on an annual survey of business school alumni conducted by the the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which publishes the GMAT exam.  In September, GMAC surveyed 4,444 graduates. The vast majority work and got their degrees in the U.S.  More than half graduated in 2009 or later.

In all, 96 percent of business school alumni were employed (including the self-employed), up from 94 percent from the 2011 survey.  The employment rate for the graduating class of 2012 was 92 percent, the highest rate for any graduating class since 2003.

Salaries are up too. Graduates of full-time MBA programs—two-year and one-year programs—reported a median annual salary of $100,000, up from $95,000 a year earlier.

The study portrays MBA graduates as largely satisfied with their career outcomes, but not everyone is happy. In 2012, 77 percent of graduates reported that their starting salaries met or exceeded their expectations, down from 82 percent a year earlier. As for return on investment, 67 percent of the class of 2012 said it met or exceeded expectations, far less than the 86 percent reported by the class of 2003.

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