Encouraging news for students in graduate management programs around the world: Recent graduates are reporting a strong job market with higher total compensation than in 2021, according to the latest Graduate Management Admission Council survey.
GMAC published its 2022 this month, examining year-to-year differences in students’ overall experience with Graduate Management Education (GME), job prospects, career advancement, and more. Overall, recent graduates reported that post-graduation employment increased 6 percentage points year-on-year, while total compensation increased 29% upon completion of their degree.
This survey is a little different from other student surveys in the industry as it focuses on the final year of graduation – that of 2022 – and not on prospective students or graduates. It also shows students’ perceptions of those who graduated later in the pandemic, compared to the 2021 survey, when students graduated at a more disruptive stage. This resulted in some notable improvements in student perceptions of highly engaging, personalized aspects of graduate business programs such as Career Services (up 10 percentage points year-over-year) and Student Services (up 5 points).
“This year’s summary report examines respondents’ views on their overall GME experience, job search, career goals and development and compensation, and the overall value of their degrees in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the survey reads.
The 2022 survey sample includes a total of 1,718 respondents from 299 business schools and 57 countries. This May, students who were either still enrolled in business schools or had just graduated were surveyed.
Below are six key takeaways GMAC Enrollment Survey 2022.
1. Graduate jobs up 6 points compared to 2021
Despite volatile economic conditions, recession rumors, and reported layoffs at some of the big tech companies, 2022 graduates appear to have taken advantage of the recent strong job market. An impressive 86% of graduate respondents were employed at the time of graduation, 6 points higher than 2021 graduates.
Graduates from Asia Pacific and Europe had the best job prospects, both overall and compared to the previous year. About 91% of Asia Pacific graduates were employed at the time of graduation, while 90% of European graduates were. This compares to 78% and 75%, respectively, who reported finding a job in 2021.
“Also noteworthy is the significant increase in the number of young graduates who plan to become self-employed, from 1 to 10 percent overall in a year-on-year comparison. A similar increase can be seen across all program types and world regions,” the report notes.
Globally, by program type, graduates with a business master’s degree performed best in the 2022 job market, while professional MBA graduates showed the greatest year-over-year improvements:
- 91% of business masters students said they would have a job upon graduation in 2022, compared to 82% in 2021, a 9-point increase.
- 89% of professional MBA graduates secured a job in 2002, compared to 77% the previous year, a 12-point increase.
- 83% of full-time MBA graduates had a job in 2022, compared to 79% last year, a jump of 4 points.
Status of job offer or employment at the time of graduation
2. Most career changers and climbers have been successful.
In harmony with 2022 GMAC Prospective Student Survey, were the key motivators for current students and recent graduates to make a career change or advance in their current careers, even amid the Great Resignation. Most of the time they were successful.
Overall, 57% of recent graduates who cited career change as a top 3 motivator achieved it — including 66% of students who attended business schools in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The success rates for students from other regions are as follows:
- North America, 61%
- Asia Pacific, 54%
- Europe, 55%
Of the students who attempted promotion, a total of 56% of graduates achieved promotion. This includes a pass rate of 67% in North American B schools, 63% in Europe, 51% in Asia Pacific and 39% in Latin America/Middle East/Africa.
More broadly, 85% of respondents rated their overall grade as good to excellent, up from 82% in 2021. Regionally, schools in Asia Pacific showed the highest improvement in this category, with positive rates rising from 75% to 86%. Year for year.
The top three motivations for pursuing GME and success in achieving them
3. Compensation increased around the world, but especially in North America.
The good news for applicants for an economics degree is that it continues to pay off in one of the most important variables: total compensation. Globally, total compensation for young graduates across all degree types increased 29% compared to pre-graduation.
However, some deals and some regions have been more lucrative than others.
For example, full-time MBA graduates from North America saw their total compensation (base salary, bonuses, etc.) increase by 50%, from a median of $80,000 before they graduated to $120,000 after.
Asia-Pacific high school graduates in full-time MBA programs, meanwhile, reported an average salary increase of $15,000, from $65,000 before graduation to $80,000 after graduation.
Total compensation before and after GME
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