Fewer US companies plan to hire international business school graduates this year.
The graduate management education (GME) candidate pipeline is more international than ever before. Less than ten years ago, most unique GMAT examinees were US citizens. Today, global demand growth means no single country or world region claims a majority of candidates. As a result, non-US citizens make up an increasing share of the applicant pools and student bodies of US business school programs. According to the 2017 Application Trends Survey, 39 percent of applicants to US programs overall came from outside the US in 2017, most notably from East and Southeast Asia (19%) and Central and South Asia (13%).
For many of these candidates, a significant part of the appeal of studying in the US is the prospect of landing a post-graduation job in the United States. The mba.com Prospective Students Survey shows that among the key motivations for candidates to choose to pursue a GME abroad is to launch an international career (58%). Unfortunately for US business school programs and their international candidates, US employer plans to hire international business school graduates have softened in 2018. This is the focus of our chart of the month for July.
As a part of the 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 47 percent of US employers reported that they either plan to or are willing to hire international business school graduates in 2018, down from 55 percent that had such plans in 2017.
There is notable variation across industries, however. Sixty-six percent of US technology companies and 63 percent of consulting firms plan to or are willing to hire international graduates in 2018—the highest rates across industries. Health care (25%) and Nonprofit/government (28%) employers expressed the least interest in hiring international candidates. Among US employers who do not plan to hire international graduates in 2018, the most common reasons they cite are the legal paperwork (42%), added expense (39%), and the ability to find sufficient talent domestically (33%).
Though most US employers place new hires domestically within the US, other placement opportunities exist for international graduates. For example, about a quarter of US companies plan to place new hires in roles based in East and Southeast Asia (27%) and Central and South Asia (22%). As one employer stated in the survey, “We usually have job openings in the students’ home country and expect them to start in their home country versus requiring sponsorship.”
For more on international hiring, download the 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey summary report. For an update on international student demand for US business school programs, stay tuned for the 2018 Application Trends Survey Report coming in September.