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Job Market Looks Good for MBAs, GMAC Employer Survey Finds

 More than three-quarters of employers that plan to hire business school graduates in 2014 expect to maintain or increase their hiring levels over last year, according to a year-end survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Annual base salaries will also rise, GMAC reports.

“Actual hiring for 2013 and projected hiring for 2014 are much improved from a few years ago, despite persistent uncertainty in the global economy,” GMAC Survey Manager Rebecca Estrada said in a statement. “In addition, between 45 percent and 58 percent of employers plan to increase annual base salaries at or above the rate of inflation, another indicator that demand for talent remains strong.”

GMAC’s Year-End Poll of Employers surveyed 211 firms in 33 countries. Of those, 71 percent hired MBA graduates in 2013, and 72 percent say they plan to hire MBA grads in 2014. Of those with plans to hire MBAs, 87 percent expect to maintain (43 percent) or increase (43 percent) headcounts for new MBAs in the year ahead.

Employers also indicate a growing interest in graduates of Master in Management programs. Forty-two percent report they plan to hire Master in Management candidates in 2014 (up from 37 percent last year).

In terms of salaries, more than half (56 percent) of employers plan to increase base salaries for recent MBA graduates at or above the rate of inflation. And of the 88 percent of employers of employers who offer internship opportunities to MBA students, 61 percent plan to extend them, GMAC reports.

Other key findings of the survey include overwhelming agreement among employers regarding skills required of business school graduates. Ninety-seven percent said MBAs must have exceptional interpersonal skills, and 98 percent said cited an ability to use data to drive decisions as essential.

Read the complete GMAC Year-End Poll of Employers.