DENVER, CO–(Marketwired – June 23, 2015) – Students graduating from MBA and master’s-level business and management programs highly value their education and are having great success landing jobs — on average at salaries nearly double their pre-degree salary — according to a Graduate Management Admission Council(R) (GMAC(R)) survey report released today as the industry gathers in Denver, Colo., for the Council’s 45th Annual Conference.
“In an education market where questions of value are raised regularly at various stages — from application to admissions to graduation — business school graduates are clear in their judgment that their degrees not only provided immediate value, but lasting value,” said Bob Alig, GMAC’s executive vice president for school products.
Of the 3,000-plus graduate b-school students in this year’s class who responded to the 2015 GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey (GMEGS), 9 in 10 (89 percent) rate the value of their degree as a good to outstanding value and 88 percent would recommend their program to others considering a graduate business degree.
Many factors influence students’ perceptions of the overall value and return on investment of their education, most notably program structure, curriculum, and faculty. In addition, skill development, including the incorporation of integrated reasoning skills into their curriculum, also influences students’ likelihood to recommend their program.
Graduates who received early job offers reported significantly higher levels of development in the following skill areas: managing human capital, knowledge of general business functions, and interpersonal orientation (i.e., working well with others). The prevalence of team projects — accounting for 23 percent of class time, on average — likely factors into the development of interpersonal orientation.
“What stands out in the GMEGS survey, as well as in other surveys we have conducted over the years, is that a graduate management degree is an outstanding investment in the personal, professional, and financial aspirations of these students,” Alig added.
Class of 2015 graduates feel their graduate management education succeeded in increasing their employability. A majority of the soon-to-be-graduates surveyed in February and March of 2015 agreed that their degree:
- Improved their chances of finding a job that meets their expectations (86 percent);
- Provided them with a competitive advantage in the job market (85 percent);
- Prepared them to meet the challenges of the job market (85 percent);
- Empowered their control over employment outcomes (82 percent); and
- Introduced them to new career opportunities (78 percent).
The jobs outlook for b-school grads remains strong in 2015:
- More than half (59 percent) of job-seeking graduate business students in the class of 2015 report receiving an early job offer prior to graduation, on par with last year’s class (57 percent).
- Job-seeking graduates of full-time, two-year MBA programs saw a three-year high in early employment success, with 63 percent of these graduates receiving a job offer prior to graduation, compared with 60 percent of their peers surveyed at the same time last year.
- Recent graduates of specialized business master’s programs experience a high degree of early job search success compared with 2014. Among Master of Accounting graduates, 89 percent of job seekers received early job offers (up from 77 percent in 2014); 59 percent of job seekers in Master in Management programs received early job offers (up from 39 percent in 2014); and 53 percent of job-seekers of Master of Finance programs had early job offers (up from 30 percent in 2014).
- Regionally, job seekers graduating from MBA programs in the United States have the highest success rate in landing early job offers (63 percent), followed by job seekers from MBA programs in Canada (54 percent), Asia-Pacific (48 percent), and Europe (41 percent).
- Globally, b-school grads with early job offers report a median post-degree salary increase of 90 percent over their pre-degree salary (up from the 80 percent increase seen by graduating students in 2014 and the 73 percent increase seen in 2013).
- Overall, one-third (33 percent) of recent b-school graduates plan to continue working for their current employer after graduation and expect significant post-degree job benefits as a result of earning their degrees including: salary increases (47 percent), increased job responsibilities (46 percent), and promotions (39 percent).
- Internships and work projects boast a 50 percent success rate in yielding early job offers for job-seeking b-school students — the highest success rate among all job search methods, consistent with previous findings.
About GMAC: The Graduate Management Admission Council (gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test(R) (GMAT(R)), used by more than 6,100 graduate business and management programs worldwide — along with other products designed to help students find, connect, and apply and gain admittance to business and management programs around the world. GMAC is based in Reston, Va., and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam — the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide — is continuously available at 600 test centers in 113 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is posted on mba.com. For more information about GMAC, please visit gmac.com/newscenter.