Employers looking to add MBAs say they will keep their hiring steady in 2015 while looking to increase salaries, according to a new poll by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
Nine of 10 employers looking to take on business school graduates in the coming year expect to have the same number of job openings or more compared with the previous 12 months. Additionally, eight in 10 employers said they met or exceeded hiring goals for Master of Business Administration grads in 2014.
Overall, 72% of respondents said they anticipate hiring MBA holders in 2015, up from 69% the previous year.
“Graduate management students completing their degrees in 2015 can look forward to a favorable job market,” the report noted.
The positive outlook for new hires is accompanied by good news on the compensation front. A majority of employers told pollsters they would boost starting annual base salaries to meet or beat the rate of inflation in 2015 for new MBA and business master’s hires.
Employers are increasingly describing the current direction of their companies as expanding or growing, with 64% saying their firms are on the upswing. These growing companies are expected to drive hiring this year, compared with companies that say they seek only to maintain positions or deal with other challenges.
The MBA credential remains something that is deeply attractive to many employers, the GMAC Year-End Poll of Employers found. An overwhelming number of employers around the world (96%) said that graduate business school hires create value for their companies. Meanwhile, 98% of surveyed employers said they look for data-driven decision-making skills and superior interpersonal skills from MBA candidates.
More than two-thirds of employers say that recruiting business school graduates remains a priority for their hiring strategy.
The year-end poll also showed that 51% of employers provide tuition assistance to workers who wish to pursue management education at the graduate level. About one-third of those respondents said they provide financial support to employers enrolling in part-time MBA programs, while 28% said they offer tuition assistance for executive MBA programs and 18% for full-time Master of Business Administration degree programs.
The nonprofit GMAC provides research and other resources relating to graduate management education, and is the owner and administrator of the GMAT exam. The 2014 Year-End Poll was conducted in October and November 2014.