Earlier this year, GMAC published the latest Corporate Recruiters Survey, an annual exploration of the state of hiring for graduate management education talent. This year’s survey offered further insights into how employer demand for MBA and business master’s graduates is bouncing back after the Covid-19 pandemic and included responses from 539 corporate recruiters and 402 staffing firms.
In our most recent webinar, 'Employer Demand for GME Graduates,' we dove into the results of the Corporate Recruiters survey, focusing on the key insights into recruiter demand for, and perspectives on, GME graduates.
Here are the five most important insights we gained from the survey.
1. Demand for graduate talent isn’t expected to slow
Overall, the hiring market for GME graduates remains favorable, especially for MBA graduates.
92 percent of corporate recruiters say they expect to hire MBAs in 2022, along with 95 percent of staffing firms.
However, graduate hiring of business master’s students is also up compared to 2021. Nearly 9 in 10 corporate recruiters (88%) say they plan to hire Master’s in Management graduates in 2022–9 percent more than in 2021.
Projected hiring for Business master’s graduates this year is also up when compared to actual hiring levels in 2021; the biggest increase is for Master of Accounting graduates. In 2021, 69 percent of respondents said they would expect to hire graduates from this degree, compared to 83 percent this year.
We can also see that GME graduate hiring isn’t expected to slow down in the coming years, either. 63 percent of recruiters said they expect to see demand for GME talent increase in the next five years. Additionally, 35 percent were confident that hiring demand would at least remain at current levels over the coming years.
2. Corporate recruiters remain confident in GME talent
There’s a reason that recruiters are increasing their hiring of GME graduates, and that’s because recruiters remain confident in business schools’ abilities to prepare these graduates to be successful at their companies.
Overall, 87 percent of recruiters said they were either confident or highly confident in the abilities of their GME graduate hires. Confidence levels are highest in the United States, where 50 percent of respondents said they were highly confident that business schools could prepare their graduates—up 5 percent from 2021.
Recruiters specifically cited strong communication skills as a reason for high confidence in GME graduates—when asked to select from a list of reasons, 73 percent selected communication. Other popular selections were a versatile skill set (68%) and strategic thinking (66%).
The industries with the most confidence in their GME graduate hires were technology and consulting; unsurprising, given that companies in these areas remain some of the biggest hirers of business school graduates.
3. International talent hiring is making a rebound in the US
In 2022, less than half of corporate recruiters said that their company had hired international business school graduates in the last year. However, there is a more favorable outlook for international graduates in the US compared with previous years.
This year, 56 percent of US recruiters said that they either plan to or are willing to make international hires, up from 48 percent in 2021. Additionally, 43 percent of US recruiters said they had hired international graduates last year, an increase of 8 percent compared with 2020.
The US industry most likely to hire international GME graduates is technology, consistent with previous years. In 2022, 62 percent of US tech companies said they plan to hire international candidates, and a further 21 percent said they are willing to.
4. Most recruiters plan to place MBA and MiM hires in different roles
Our survey also offered insight into which roles recruiters favor for GME hires. In particular, the data shows that recruiters favor MBA and Master’s in Management graduates for different roles at companies.
Overall, 61 percent of corporate recruiters plan to place their MBA hires in strategy or innovation roles, with the next most popular roles for MBAs being general management (57%) and consulting (49%).
Comparatively, corporate recruiters favor Master in Management graduates for HR or organizational management roles, with 59 percent of recruiters saying they plan to place their new hires in these roles. A further 56 percent and 54 percent of corporate recruiters say they plan to place MiM hires in general management or project management positions.
5. Compensation packages are changing
While median starting salaries for new MBA hires remain stable in 2022, starting salaries for Business master’s graduates have increased this year. In particular, for Master of Finance graduates, median starting salaries have risen from US$95k to US$110k since 2021.
More notably, though, compensation packages for GME graduates are changing. This year, 32 percent of recruiters reported offering assistance in paying down school loan/school debt as part of a wider salary package.
More specifically, 17 percent of recruiters in Western Europe and 13 percent of US recruiters reported offering this benefit, compared to 9 percent and 10 percent in 2021.
A stable hiring market for GME graduates
Despite variables in hiring projections between industries, countries, and recruiters, it’s clear from this year’s Corporate Recruiters Survey that GME students are largely graduating into a strong hiring market.
As detailed, recruiters remain confident in GME graduates’ abilities to succeed in their organizations, whether they have graduated from an MBA or Business master’s program.