Firms plan to invest in talent

MORE companies plan to hire Master of Business Administration and other business school graduates in 2014, according to a global survey of employers that was released earlier this year.

About 80% of business school recruiters plan to hire MBA graduates in 2014. This is an increase of seven percentage points from last year and is a 30% increase compared to five years ago.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducted the 13th annual Corporate Recruiters Survey in February and March, in partnership with the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (CSEA).

The survey included 32 of the top 100 companies in the Financial Times 500 and 36 of the Fortune 100.

“More companies in all sectors and across the world plan to hire business school graduates, with projected hiring rates the highest for all degree types since the Great Recession started in 2009,” said GMAC chief executive officer and president Sangeet Chowfla.

“MBA (graduates) have always been valued by employers, but this survey shows that as the economy improves, employers see (them) as a good investment into their (company’s) future,” he added.

The optimistic hiring outlook for MBAs and other Master’s-level business graduates comes as fewer companies are focused on overcoming economic challenges.

Companies focused on growth and expansion are more likely to have improved hiring plans.

The percentage of employers planning to hire new bachelor’s degree graduates is holding steady, and only went down by one percent compared to the 75% that hired bachelor’s graduates in 2012 and 2013.

“This year’s survey paints a very positive picture for the business education sector.

“It clearly shows how companies and recruiters value the whole portfolio of business degrees,” said EFMD chief executive officer and director general Prof Eric Cornuel.

When presented with the options of communication, managerial, teamwork, leadership and technical skills, employers said that communication skills were the most important when they seek new staff, on average twice as important as managerial skills.

“With the global economy moving forward at a more solid pace in 2014, MBA CSEA is pleased to see that 80% of companies intend to recruit MBA (graduates) this year,” said MBA CSEA president Mark Peterson.

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