GMAC Survey Shows Improved Hiring Prospects for MBAs

Each year, the GMAC conducts a survey of employers to learn more about the hiring market for MBA grads.

The biggest takeaway from this year’s survey was that 84% of employers across the board hired or plan to hire a candidate with an MBA degree in 2015. This is a significant increase from 2014’s 74%, and suggests that the job market for MBAs continues to improve.

Employees with MBA degrees were most popular with U.S. recruiters, with 92% saying they planned to hire at least one employee with an MBA degree. Half of U.S. recruiters said they also planned to hire someone with another specialized business degree such as Masters in Management or Masters in Accounting. Recruiters in the northeastern U.S. were the most optimistic about MBA recruitment, 96% said they hired or planned hire someone with an MBA degree in 2015.

MBA talent is in greatest demand among energy and utility companies, with 96% saying they hired or planned to hire someone with an MBA in 2015 (compared to 78% who said the same thing in 2014). Tech companies took second place, with 93% saying they hired or planned to hire an MBA grad (compared to 84% in 2014).

Though the most popular job function for new MBAs is marketing or sales, data analytics continues to enjoy an increase in popularity with over half of companies saying that they hired or planned to hire an MBA grad for a job in data analytics. In a separate poll, the GMAC found that nearly two thirds of employers say that grads need to have a strong grasp of data to thrive in today’s business world.

When it comes to finding new hires, 86% of U.S. recruiters and 80% of global recruiters rate on-campus interviews as the most effective way to identify a strong candidate for a new position.

When choosing which candidates to interview, “proven ability to perform” was rated as critical by 96% of recruiters. Other highly desirable skills for potential new hires included strong oral communication skills (89% of recruiters said this was critical) and strong technical/quantitative skills (84%).

Across the board, there appears to have been a double digit increase in the demand for MBA graduates, which can only be good news for job seekers who hold an MBA degree.