The results of GMAC Research’s 2017 Year-End Employer Poll indicate that this year’s business school graduates can look forward to an overall favorable job market—especially if you’re a specialist.
The poll, which surveyed 93 employers in November 2017, finds that this a year a greater share of companies expect to hire more specialists than generalists (40%) compared with more generalists than specialists (28%). This represents a shift from 2017, when the balance was roughly equal.
This shift coincides with the slightly greater growth rate of companies planning to hire from specialized business master’s programs this year compared with MBA programs. Though more than 7 in 10 responding companies plan to hire MBA graduates this year (72%), 69 percent report having hired them in 2017—a slightly smaller rate of growth than seen for specialized business master’s hiring. For example, 36 percent and 31 percent of responding companies plan to hire Master of Finance and Master of Accounting graduates in 2018, respectively. This is up from 31 percent and 25 percent that report having hired them in 2017, respectively—an increase greater than that expected for MBA hiring this year.
The poll results showed no significant difference in hiring intention between specialists and generalists across company industry, size, or world region. Companies who indicate they have specific 2018 goals to improve performance/productivity, reduce costs, expand geographically, launch new products/services, and complete a corporate branding initiative are likely to hire more specialists than generalists this year.
The results of last year’s Corporate Recruiters Survey also suggest that a company’s overall direction—that is to say, whether they are expanding/growing, maintaining current market position, or overcoming challenges—may factor into their hiring preference for specialists versus generalists. Globally, the data show that companies that are expanding/growing tend to hire more generalists and companies that are overcoming challenges tend to hire more specialists. Among companies that were expanding/growing, 54 percent planned to hire more generalists than specialists, compared with 46 percent that planned to hire more specialists than generalists. Among companies overcoming challenges, 56 percent planned to hire more specialists than generalists, compared with 44 percent that planned to hire more generalists than specialists.
For more on 2018 business school hiring, download the 2017 Year-End Employer Poll data brief. Survey signup is now available for the 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey, the results of which will be published in June. Participating programs receive a customized benchmark report.