Strong Job Market For Biz Undergrads

It’s almost getting boring.

Ever since the end of the Great Recession, the job market for undergraduate business students has shown steady and robust growth. Each year, from 2011 to 2016, undergraduate hiring has gotten stronger and stronger, far in excess of the improvement in the overall economy.

And now it looks like 2017 will see yet another solid year of hiring and increasing salary offers, according to a report of employers out today from the Graduate Management Admission Council. This year, 85% of employers plan to hire students from undergraduate business schools, up from 79% last year. Of the companies that intend to hire business undergrads, 80% expect to make as many ore more hires than they did last year.

But that’s not all. A third of employers told GMAC they intend to increase the starting salaries of their undergraduate hires by the rate of inflation. Some 19% of the responding companies plan to boost starting pay over the inflation rate.

‘STILL SEE OPTIMISM AMONG EMPLOYERS IN THEIR HIRING OUTLOOK’

“We see a continuation of positive news for the future of business graduates seeking employment,” says Gregg Schoenfeld, research director at GMAC. “We still see optimism among employers in their hiring outlook, and we see some optimism in increasing salaries over last year. Almost no one is saying they are going to decrease salary so the value of management education is holding.”

The report is based on responses from 167 recruiters from more than 140 companies, including 36 members of the Fortune 500 and the big four consulting groups. The majority of respondents were based in the U.S., though they were located in 27 countries. The survey was fielded in the middle of the Presidential campaign from Oct. 26 to Nov. 18. The surveyed employers have hired business graduates in the past.

The Year-End Employer Poll shows what many business school employment reports already confirm: solid hiring results for 2016. Nearly seven in 10 employers (68%) hired MBA graduates last year, and an even greater percentage of employers hired bachelor’s degree grads (79%). In comparison, hiring rates for graduates of Master of Accounting programs, other business master’s, and nonbusiness master’s were lower than other candidate types, but still on par with trends from previous years, says the GMAC report.

POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR ALL BUSINESS GRADS, THOUGH THE NUMBERS DIFFER

The employer study found that of the 68% of MBA hirers in 2016, nearly eight in 10 (78%) say they met or exceeded their hiring goals for these candidates. In 2017, 78% of employers who plan to hire MBA graduates expect to hire as many or more of these candidates than they did in 2016.

But the outlook was positive across several business degree candidates. Nearly eight in 10 (79%) employers expect to hire MBA graduates in 2017, compared with 68% of these same companies that hired MBA candidates in 2016, the GMAC study found. Of the employers with plans to hire recent MBAs, 58% say they expect to increase their starting annual base salaries either at or above the rate of inflation, while 40% plan to maintain salaries at 2016 levels. Some 19% made clear their intention to boost salaries above the inflation rate.

Some 27% of employers hired Master of Accounting graduates in 2016, with two out of three (64%) reporting that they met or exceeded their hiring goals. In 2017, a slightly higher 29% of employers intend to hire Master of Accounting graduates, with 80% of these employers expecting to match or increase the number of candidates they hire from this group.

Percentage Of Employers Expecting To Hire In 2017

Source: GMAC 2016 Year-End Employer Poll

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