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The Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 provides an overview of current employer hiring demand for MBA and business master’s graduates and examines hiring practices and trends by collecting responses from 1,202 employers in 45 countries worldwide spanning from start-ups to Fortune Global 100. Below are some key findings from the survey.  


Increased interest in global talent

Results from the survey show that employers maintain a high level of interest in hiring international candidates in 2019. 71% and 69% of European and Asia-Pacific companies, respectively, either plan to or are willing to hire international candidates in 2019, both up from recent years. Among US companies, those in the tech sector are the most likely to have plans to hire international candidates in 2019 (67%).

Future changes in policies and laws are less of a concern for European and Asia-Pacific companies, in contrast to US companies. Shortage of domestic talent is a strong reason for Eurpean companies’ international hires. Cost of hiring and cultural differences are bigger concerns of Asian-Pacific companies.


Specialized business masters on demand

The survey also reveals that more Asia-Pacific employers plan to hire Master of Accounting, Master of Finance, and Master of Data Analytics graduates this year compared with last year. European companies’ hiring plans for Master of Accounting and Master of Finance candidates in 2019 are steady compared with last year, while hiring plans for Master of Data Analytics candidates are on the rise. 

About 1 in 3 Asia-Pacific companies seek talent from marketing, economics, engineering management, and supply chain management programs. A similar proportion of European employers seek talent from economic, engineering management, and information technology programs.


MBA hiring projections remain strong

MBA hiring demand is strongest among companies in the consulting, energy/utilities, health care, and technology industries in 2018. Larger companies are more likely to hire MBA talent – more than 9 in 10 Fortune 100, 500, and for-profit, public companies plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2019.

 Startup companies have the largest increase between their 2018 MBA actual hiring rate (45%) and 2019 projected hiring rate (62%). MiM hiring demand is strongest among companies in the consulting, products/services, and manufacturing industries.


Top job functions companies plan to fill with business talent

According to the survey, strategy/innovation, finance, and business intelligence/analytics are the top three job functions companies plan to fill with MBA graduates. Consulting is the most common job for new MBAs in Asia Pacific and Europe while strategy/innovation and finance are the most common in the US. Finance, consulting, and project management are the top three job functions companies plan to fill with Master in Management graduates. 53% employers expect to onboard consulting graduates in Europe, and 60% of Asia Pacific employers are willing to place MiM new hires into marketing roles.


Boost in median starting salaries

Overall, most employers plan to increase the starting salary of MBA graduates in 2019 (56%), including 63% of Asia-Pacific employers, 56% of US employers, and 49% of European employers. Median annual base starting salaries vary considerably across world regions. The median annual base starting salary for MBA graduates is the highest at record in the US companies. US companies plan to offer new MBA hires in 2019 US$115,000, more than double the median for new bachelor’s degree hires (US$55,000) and the highest ever recorded in the US when adjusted for inflation. The consulting sector provides the highest median starting salary in the United States.


Each year, Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) cooperates with Highered, EFMD, MBA CSEA, and business schools around the world, to conduct a study among employers that recruit recent business school graduates. We hope this report will provide you with reliable, actionable, forward-looking data to give your company a competitive edge.