Good news for today’s business school graduates! Employer demand for fresh MBA and business master’s degree-holders in this year’s hiring projections is increasing and they are paying more. Whether companies are aiming for more productivity, improved performance, or growth, they want business school talent with the right skills to help them achieve their 2013 objectives.
Proof Is in the Numbers
Employer hiring of MBA graduates in 2013 is expected to grow four percent over last year (from 71% last year to 75% of companies in 2013). Further, the average number of new MBA hires is expected to grow from 11.4 per company, seen in 2012, to 14.6 this year—a 28% increase.
Across the globe, more companies also report plans to increase their hiring of graduates of master-level programs in management, accounting, and finance, as well as other specialized masters at levels greater than any point seen in the past five years, as illustrated below.
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Early Job Offer Success for 2013 Graduates
This year’s business school graduating class met with early employment success as 6 out of 10 (60%) job-seeking grads had secured job offers in February or March, similar to the class of 2012’s (62%) success at securing early job offers. This year’s graduates expressed confidence in the value of their business degrees, agreeing that their graduate management education:
- Gave them a competitive advantage in the job market (85%)
- Empowered them to be in control of their employment outcomes (81%)
- Introduced them to new opportunities (77%)
Finding Jobs in New Places
The most popular industries for class of 2013 job seekers, like consulting, finance and accounting, and products and services, also were the most competitive. Graduates who broadened their job search to include non-traditional industries such as technology (71% of job seekers with offers) and energy/utilities (62%) reported higher percentages of students with early job offers than theirpeers did in the class of 2012. These job offer rates echo the growth in employer demand for MBA hires seen this year in the energy/utilities and technology sectors (with 86% and 84% of companies hiring, respectively).
Why Your Degree Is a Smart Choice in Today’s Job Market 
Employers globally are counting on fresh business school talent to help them execute their business plans in 2013. In the words of one employer, graduate business degree candidates “bring leadership and strategic skills to the workplace that other candidates typically have not been able to attain just through their previous employment.”
The proof of this sentiment is borne out in the salary boost that new MBA hires can expect to see in 2013. For example, US employers expect to pay new MBA hires an additional $5,000 this year, raising median base salaries from US$90,000 to US$95,000. This represents a $43,000 premium compared with the earnings for bachelor’s degree-holders among US employers, with a similar salary premium for MBAs vs. bachelor’s also observed among European employers.
Work experience and business school can be a lucrative combination. In fact, all management graduates globally report higher salaries now than before earning their degrees. The post-degree boost in earnings ranged from a 107% increase for students who entered their programs with less than three years’ prior work experience to a 57% increase for grads with six or more years of prior experience.
As an Intern, You Can Network From Within the Company for Your Next Job
Research shows that students who participate in extracurricular activities, such as leadership programs and academic competitions, have greater success rates in landing early job offers before graduation. Also, the traditional job search methods—internships and work projects—are still the best way to build a network of contacts in an industry that interests you and exposes you to potential decision makers. Hiring prospects for interns were high last year, as 3 out of 4 companies(76%) that had MBA interns hired them as full-time employees. Similarly, for master’s talent, more than 3 out of 5 (69%) companies that offered internships to non-MBA business master’s in 2012 later hired them full-time. Read more about how to make an internship work for you.
If you are still unsure of your career goals, use our CareerLeader® online self-assessment tool to determine what industries and companies may be the best fit for your talents.
 Findings are from the GMAC 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey Hiring Report and the GMAC 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey Job Search Report.