Author:Basye, Geoffrey

Recent graduates with an advanced business degree, particularly in the U.S., are procuring substantial starting salaries, according to the Business School Hiring Report issued by the Graduate Management Admission Council, MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, and European Foundation for Management Development. The report is based on findings from the annual Corporate Recruiters Survey, with employers in 45 countries providing insight into current market and hiring trends among MBA and business master's graduates.

The median annual base starting salary U.S. employers are offering new MBA hires is $115,000, more than double the median for new bachelor's degree hires ($55,000) and the highest ever recorded when adjusted for inflation. By industry among U.S. employers, median MBA starting salaries are highest in the consulting ($135,000) and finance/accounting ($125,000) industries.

"Employers clearly place a high value on acquiring MBA and business master's graduates," says Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. "We are seeing a highly active candidate marketplace in terms of geographical shifts in study destinations, but the value that both employers and graduates see in an advanced business degree is a constant."

Median annual base starting salaries vary considerably by world region. European companies plan to offer new MBA hires $95,000, and the median for Asia-Pacific companies is $45,000.

Forty-eight percent of U.S. employers either plan to or are willing to hire international candidates, about the same as 2018 (47%) and down from 2017 (55%). This year's survey was fielded in February and March, before the recent H-1B rule change became official on April 1. The rule change stands to benefit international graduates with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education over graduates with bachelor's degrees.

"There has been a feeling of uncertainty in recent years around the direction of U.S. visa policy, which is impacting international hiring and application trends," explains Chowfla. "It will be interesting to see how much positive impact this rule change may have on both the flow of international students to the U.S. and their employment opportunities."

While MBA hiring projections remain strong relative...

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