Should you stay or should you go?

May 20, 2011
Tags: Business School, Choosing the Right School, School Selection

While we’re celebrating the improved job market for class of 2011 business school students and fresh jobs for the new MBA degree-holders, let’s not forget the advantages and professional opportunities enjoyed by grads who choose to stay with their current employers.

More than a third (37%) of the nearly 5,000 b-school graduates we surveyed from the class of 2011 intended to stick with their current employer after graduation. Grads making this choice expected certain incentives, including a 39% salary increase (on average), as well as promotions (35%) and job title changes (30%).

This year’s trend echoes the path taken by 36% of the class of 2010 who stayed with their employers after completing b-school, suggesting that the decision to stay is not driven solely by economic conditions. In fact, nearly half (48%) of the class of 2010 alumni who made this choice did so because they believed they were recognized as a valuable asset to their organization. 

The idea that recognition matters so much in the decision to stay with an employer isn’t surprising. Alumni we’ve surveyed over the past decade consistently say it’s one of the top three drivers of job satisfaction, along with passion—doing the work you enjoy—and compensation. Recognition of value can drive performance and lead to greater job satisfaction—it usually goes hand-in-hand with career advancement. 

The decision to stay also reflects several marketplace realities, one of which is the growing number of companies sponsoring current employees’ enrollment in graduate business school. Another is how many working professionals drawn to part-time and executive MBA programs are opting to stay with their employers (81% and 74%, respectively). 

The real value companies place on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of MBAs and other b-school talent shows in their decision to sponsor current employees’ development. This year, 33% of employers we surveyed in the GMAC 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey  say that a key strategy for building their pool of MBA hires is to offer tuition assistance for graduate business school. These stats bode well for the 30% of prospective students, like you, who have registered for the GMAT exam on and anticipate receiving tuition support through their workplace. 

Once you’ve got the value of your b-school degree in hand, though, how do you leverage it to move your career in the direction you want it to go? Stay tuned to find out more about today’s b-school alumni’s career development strategies.