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GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Shows Employer Hiring Up 4 Percent for MBAs

More corporate recruiters have hired or plan to hire MBAs this year than last, according to the 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Globally, 75 percent of employers surveyed plan to hire MBAs, up from 71 percent last year, GMAC reports. Not only that, the average number of MBAs each company expects to hire is also up, from 11.4 per company in 2012 to a projected 14.6 this year.

More employers also report plans to hire graduates of specialized business master’s programs this year than last, GMAC found. The percentage of employers planning to hire graduates with master’s degrees in management, accounting, finance and other specialized business degrees all rose as well, by between one and five percentage points over 2012.

The survey did find regional variations in terms of projected MBA hiring. The 2013 hiring outlook is strongest among companies in the Northeast region of the United States. Here, 92 percent of companies report plans to hire MBAs, up from 83 percent last year. In the Southern U.S., meanwhile, demand for non-MBA business master’s degrees is projected to rise most sharply while MBA hiring dips slightly, GMAC found. Overall, 85 percent of U.S. companies will hire MBAs in 2013, up from 82 percent last year. Starting salaries are up, too, from an average of $90,000 last year to $95,000 this year.

Asia-Pacific companies – poised for further robust growth and market expansion – are also planning to increase MBA hiring this year, according to survey results. Across the region, 61 percent of employers plan to hire MBAs, up from 54 percent last year. And they are prepared to pay more for them, too. A majority (59 percent) expect to offer starting salaries for new MBA hires at or above the rate of inflation.

In Europe, meanwhile, hiring projections are more tempered, reflecting the region’s struggling economy. Plans to hire MBAs remain stable compared with 2012, but hiring projections for graduates with other business degrees have fallen slightly this year over last.

Notably, with regard to industry sectors, the greatest growth in demand for MBAs this year over last is in the energy/utilities and health care/pharmaceuticals sectors, which don’t traditionally hire as many MBAs. But even in the more traditional MBA-hiring industries, like finance and consulting, modest growth is projected.

Read the complete GMAC 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey.