A major annual report shows that global growth in employer demand for MBA graduates rose by 12% in 2012, with emerging markets contributing more than ever.
Released annually since 1990, the QS TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends Report provides a unique insight into the MBA graduate job market worldwide.
Taking in survey responses from over 3,300 MBA recruiters worldwide, this year’s report shows that though growth in global demand for MBA graduates continues, it is doing so more slowly than in 2011.
This year’s growth rate of 12% represents a drop from the 36% recorded in 2011. Demand in consulting and finance, traditionally two of the most popular industries for MBA hiring, both saw a 16% growth in demand in 2012, but the forecast for next year sees this drop to 9% and 3% growth respectively.
Nunzio Quacquarelli, editor of TopMBA.com says “The MBA job market continues to bounce back from its slump in 2009, though last year’s growth rate has stabilized. We can expect technology sectors to lead the way in MBA recruitment in 2013, with a forecast growth of 27% in MBA demand worldwide.”
Emerging MBA job markets
The report shows that the MBA qualification continues to play a central role in the battle for global economic supremacy, with companies in emerging markets fuelling worldwide growth in demand for MBAs.
The Middle East has been the most dynamic region, with growth of 21% in MBA demand in 2012 and a further 23% forecast for 2013. Asia and Latin America also record solid growth, though Western Europe trails at just 5%.
Growth in MBA demand in North America remained at a respectable 16% in 2012, but employers are cautious about 2013, with forecast growth of just 2% in 2013.
Quacquarelli says “The US remains one of the largest markets for MBA employment. A partial economic recovery; stabilization of the financial services; the recovery of some manufacturing industries and the appearance of new mid-sized MBA employers on campus have all contributed to the growth.”
“We can also expect technology sectors to lead the way in MBA recruitment in 2013, with a forecast growth of 27% growth in MBA demand worldwide.”
He continues, “With the economic conditions uncertain in the euro zone, growth slowing in Asia and the upcoming US presidential elections, it’s not surprising to see that employers, especially multinational corporations, are reporting prudent MBA hiring plans in 2013 in order to avoid being potentially pulled back into 2008/9 conditions where they had to reverse some MBA hiring decisions and overall MBA demand declined 5%.”
Increase in MBA salaries
The report also found that salaries offered by international employers in North America have increased from US$87,200 in 2011 to US$89,100 in 2012. However, the average bonus payable fell slightly from $23,000 in 2011 to $17,700 in 2012. Stanford (US$127,200), Harvard (US$121,700) and Wharton (US$118,000) were the top-reporting business schools in terms of base salary, excluding sign-on or starting bonuses.
Quacquarelli says, “This is the first time in my twenty years in the MBA industry where I have seen MBA employment demand grow in regions suffering from recession and negative GDP growth. We have witnessed this in both the USA and Northern Europe.”
“The increases in MBA salaries is an added surprise and the only downside to such high average salaries for MBA graduates is that smaller prospective MBA employers may be deterred from trying to compete for the best MBA talent.”