MBA Hiring is Trending Up or Rather Not Going Down

Some recent excitement was generated in the last few weeks from the release of GMAC’s annual Year-End Poll of Employers report. In the poll of 169 employers, GMAC reports that the market is steadying for MBA hiring. Specifically, the report notes that 72 percent of employers expect to hire MBA graduates in 2015, compared to 69 percent in 2014. And good news for MBA graduates, more than 50 percent of employers report raising starting salaries to exceed inflation. In looking at the comparison to their 2014 data, GMAC reports that of all program types, Master in Management programs are projected to have the largest percent increase in hiring from 30 percent in 2014 to 41 percent in 2015 which is perhaps partly driving the trend as the fastest growing business school offering.

All of this is good news for sure, but before we get too excited that strong demand for the degree might be increasing again, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, despite the slight uptick, recent trends suggest that MBA hiring is holding rather steady. That is, demand for MBA graduates has been rather stable over the past three years. Second MBA application volume has also seem to level off over the past three years as a concurrent indicator of market demand for MBA graduates. Both of these data trends signal that the massive dive in MBA applications, particularly among part-time programs may finally be leveling off with some predictable stability being demonstrated in application from 2010 – 2014 (see chart below from GMAC’s Application Trends Report).

PT MBA Applications

So as much as we may get excited about seeing any data point trend upward indicating increased market demand for business school graduates, we must also be cautioned to remember that it’s not 2004 anymore and that stability is worth celebrating.

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