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MBAs Find Early Job Offers in Nontraditional Sectors, GMAC Reports

A greater percentage of MBAs and other business school graduates seeking jobs in fields like technology, manufacturing and healthcare reported having early job offers than did those searching in the more traditional fields of finance and consulting, according to survey results released by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) earlier this month.

GMAC released results from its 15th Annual Global Management Education Graduate Survey on June 4th. The global exit survey, conducted in February and March, polled 3,049 business school graduates at 111 universities. Of those, 57 percent had at least one early job offer, down slightly from 60 percent in last year’s survey but still a huge improvement over the 32 percent who had offers in the same time period in 2010.

At the time of this year’s survey, 62 percent of the graduating students were involved in a job search, and another four percent were either self-employed or intending to pursue entrepreneurship at graduation. 

“This snapshot of the early job market for business school graduates demonstrates that graduate business degrees are useful in a wide variety of careers,” Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC survey research director, said in a statement. “While demand remains strong among traditional industries, business school graduates shouldn’t overlook alternative sectors, which are actively seeking MBA and other business school talent,” he continued.

Manufacturing and healthcare/pharmaceuticals emerged as promising sectors for business school grads, with a notable 74 percent of students searching in these sectors reported having at least one early offer.

The technology sector, too, showed significant promise, with 61 percent of those seeking tech industry jobs reporting that they already had an offer in hand. Of all students with early offers, 15 percent were in the technology industry, up from 9 percent with early offers in tech in 2010.

Early offers in consulting made up roughly the same slice of the overall pie as in previous years, GMAC reports. Among all job seekers, 21 percent of those with early job offers were in consulting, compared to 20 percent in 2010, but fewer of those seeking jobs in consulting had early offers (58%) than did those in less traditional fields. Like last year, roughly a quarter of all job seekers reported early offers in the finance/accounting sector, down from 30 percent in 2010. Here, too, the 57 percent of those seeking jobs in finance/accounting who had early offers was lower than in the technology, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.

Reported salaries for those with early job offers showed healthy gains over last year. Though salaries vary widely by industry, job level and work location, the median increase in salary of those with job offers was 80 percent over their pre-degree salary, up from a 73 percent increase reported last year by graduates with early job offers.

“The job market for business school graduates has rebounded nicely since 2010, and employers in all sectors recognize they need the business skills and acumen these graduates bring,” Schoenfeld said.

Check out the complete Global Management Education Graduate Survey report.