Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated September 2010
The Graduate Management Admissions Council's (GMAC) annual Global MBA Graduate Survey sheds light on the state of the MBA degree today.
Graduate education value and quality
Respondents were asked to compare the cost of the graduate program and the quality of their education when gauging the value of an MBA program. The survey reports that more than two-thirds of full-time MBA graduates feel that their degrees are of high value, and as many reported that their instructors were of high quality.
Ninety percent of respondents reported that they would advise other graduate students to enroll in their program. Most of the class of 2007 also indicated that the admissions, curriculum and management of the program they enrolled in was excellent.
Respondents added that the most valuable aspects of the MBA program curriculum were the business policy and strategy, finance, marketing, and management and organizational behavior. Management strategy, and the innovation and knowledge of general business functions, were reported to have improved. During the past few years, the quality of career services at some schools has been in question, but nearly 40 percent of respondents reported that the career services office in their program was extremely helpful.
The full-time MBA graduate student respondents indicated that they assumed the programs they were enrolled in would lead to more options in the working world. They also believed that their graduate education would afford them the skills and abilities they need to land long-term employment. Financial security and challenging employment were other benefits named by the respondents.
More than one-third of the students reported that the most important job interview skills included a cultural fit with the company, knowing others in the company and the reputation of the MBA program. Other important interview skills, such as interpersonal skills, the ability to perform and leadership were also named.
Full-time MBA 2007 graduates were found to be more likely to leave school with at least an offer letter for employment than students who graduated in 2006. In fact, more than half of the respondents had already received job offers. Most of the students surveyed expected to enter a mid-level occupation after graduation, while nearly one-quarter expected to begin at the senior level.
MBA graduate employment criteria
According to the survey, the consulting and finance/accounting industries stand to see the most growth as a result of the increasing number of MBA graduates. The consulting industry can expect a 75 percent increase in MBA graduate employees, while the finance/accounting industry may increase 35 percent. The technology and nonprofit government industries stand to lose a percentage of employees after graduation.
The survey respondents listed decentralized decision-making, a cooperative and casual atmosphere, and flexible career paths as attractive features of a potential job. They also included clearly defined responsibilities, formalized procedures and a clear and well-communicated vision as positive attributes of an employer. A focus on company success and individual performance-based rewards also topped the list of criteria.
The full-time MBA graduates indicated that potential for advancement, a fit with the company culture and a positive organizational atmosphere are the most important deciding factors for a job. The MBA class of 2007 can expect to make 54 percent more, through the course of their careers, than they could have realized with their pre-MBA salaries.
As one can see, the outlook for MBA graduates is positive, as is the attitude of the graduates. MBA graduates can look forward to more challenging work, better job placement rates and higher salaries. View the entireGlobal MBA Graduate Survey online.
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