Globally, one-quarter of employers who plan to hire recent MBA graduates are willing to pay a premium salary for specialised MBA programs.
Fresh MBAs are very much in demand. Globally, 86 per cent of companies plan to hire recent MBA graduates this year for across functions – be it finance, marketing, operations/logistics, data analytics, business development or human resources. The Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2017 by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) says so.
The demand for human resources or MBA-HR is highest in the Asia Pacific – 88 per cent of companies in Asia Pacific plan to place their fresh business graduates hire in the HR function, along with business development and marketing. Globally, only 61 per cent of companies plan to do so.
For MBAs who want to get into HR, the demand is highest among Fortune Global 100 companies. Around 90 per cent of these companies plan to fill in their HR roles with these fresh MBAs. On the contrary, fewer than half of start-up companies plan to place recent hires in human resource functions.
#1> Compared with global averages, a greater share of companies in Asia-Pacific and Latin America plan to increase salaries at or above the rate of inflation.
Specialised MBAs are becoming more popular as they provide candidates with deep management expertise in a specific industry. Globally, one-quarter of employers who plan to hire recent MBA graduates are willing to pay them a premium salary for such specialized MBAs, for instance MBA in risk management; luxury brand management; aviation, oil, gas, and energy; engineering; and architecture.
Overall, more than half of employers (52 per cent of respondents) were prepared to increase starting salaries for new MBA hires at (34%) or above (18%) the inflation rate.
#2> Among employers who plan to hire new MBAs in 2017, 89 per cent plan to increase (42%) or maintain (47%) the number of MBAs they hire compared to 2016.
The study suggests communication skills, both oral and written, rank highest among the skills employers consider most important, followed by listening skills and presentation skills. Teamwork skills such as adaptability, valuing others’ opinions, ability to follow a leader, and cross-cultural sensitivity were among the top 10 most sought-after skills for new graduate business hires.
In fact, GMAT categorised the fresh MBAs in four segments – strategic generalist, strategic specialist, tactical generalist and tactical specialist. The study suggests that more companies want to hire strategic generalists (high on leadership skills) and tactical specialists (high on technical skills).
#3> Four of the top five skills employers seek in new hires include oral and written communication, listening skills and presentation skills.
Employers will offer a mix of benefits to recent MBA and business master’s graduates in 2017 beyond salary, with health benefits and retirement savings plans being the most prevalent, offered by 87 percent and 75 percent of respondents, respectively. However, each sector is expected have a specialized offer for the fresh MBAs.
If the technology industry is more likely to offer work from home, healthcare and pharmaceutical are likely to offer stock options.
The manufacturing sector will offer educational benefits, such as tuition reimbursement, scholarships, or professional or leadership development programs and the non profit/government employers are the least likely to offer signing or other bonuses.
A total of 959 employers representing more than 628 companies located in 51 countries worldwide responded to the survey.
GMAC owns and administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) exam, used by more than 6,500 graduate programs worldwide, as well as the NMAT, used for entrance into graduate management programs in India.
The council is based in Reston, VA with offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong.