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MBA Hiring Projections: It’s Time To Go To Business School

Hiring Projections

Master’s of Management Degree Hiring Projections Fall Short

That said, in terms of actual numbers in 2016, hires of candidates with master’s of management degrees fell short of expectations. Just 19 percent of employers reported hiring these grads in 2016, even though 34 percent of employers in the 2015 year-end poll projected hiring them. A lower percentage of U.S. employers (16 percent) hired these candidates this past year, driving down the overall results, even as nearly a third of employers in Europe and Asia (32 percent of these employers combined) did hire these candidates. Projections for the year ahead are more promising, with 31 percent of employers overall expecting to hire candidates with master’s of management degrees.

MBA Internship Opportunities Plentiful in 2017

As far as MBA internships are concerned, opportunities here, too, look to be plentiful in 2017. Of companies surveyed that offer internships, 66 percent have plans to hire MBA interns in 2017, and 82 percent of those plan to hire the same number or more MBA interns than in 2016. These numbers are off slightly from last year’s—when 73 percent of employers cited plans to provide MBA internships, and 92 percent of those expected to hire the same or more MBA interns than in the prior year. Of this shift, Schoenfeld said it was “not strikingly disconcerting, but something to note.”

Company Direction and Its Impact on Hiring Plans

The GMAC Year-End Employer Poll also calls on employers to characterize their company direction in the coming year as “overcoming challenges,” “maintaining current market position” or “expanding and growing.” In another positive sign, the majority (56 percent) of employers responded that their company is poised to continue expanding and growing in 2017, as compared to 27 percent who expect to maintain their current market position and 16 percent who anticipate spending the year ahead overcoming challenges. Notably, projected MBA hiring was strong across the board, with 74 percent of companies with challenges to overcome planning to bring MBAs on board to help, 77 percent of companies set to maintain current market position planning to hire MBAs, and 80 percent of companies factoring MBA hires into their plans for expansion and growth.

Source: GMAC 2016 Year-End Employer Poll Report

Source: GMAC 2016 Year-End Employer Poll Report

Asking employers what business school graduates can do better, the survey did reveal some advice for business schools and their students. “While tech has been saturated with new MBAs the past few years, programs do seem to be doing a better job of preparing students for careers in tech,” wrote a small U.S. tech firm. “Still, very few candidates have direct experience in tech from before their MBA studies.”

A mid-size Asia-Pacific products and services employer, meanwhile, stressed the need for MBAs to be willing to roll up their sleeves. “Be more flexible to take on work which may require you to dirty your hands,” that employer wrote.

One final interesting note about the latest employer poll is that several employers voluntarily shared that their hiring plans could depend on policy decisions of the incoming U.S. president. This makes since given that seven out of 10 respondents were U.S. employers and the poll was conducted in October and November 2016, during the lead up to and culmination of the U.S. presidential election. As an example, one respondent from a small U.S. consulting firm viewed the current job market as strong, but added “…with the election results, I’m more anxious.”

Schoenfeld concedes that he didn’t have the foresight when they designed the questionnaire to include specific questions about the impact of the election but that GMAC does plan to monitor the election’s impact on hiring in future surveys. “Definitely in the Corporate Recruiter Survey, which will be conducted in February and March, we will collect data on if and how the election has changed employers’ hiring goals or strategies,” he says.

View the complete GMAC 2016 Year-End Employer Poll Report.

This article has been republished with permissions from Clear Admit.

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About the Author

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Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is a writer on MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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