GMAC Survey: Employers remain confident hiring graduates from business schools

KUALA LUMPUR: Employers remain confident in hiring graduates from business schools, despite unfavourable macroeconomic conditions and looming uncertainties, according to a survey of corporate recruiters released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

A global association representing leading business schools, GMAC published findings from the 2023 survey exploring which skills employers think will characterise the future workplace, and how prepared they view candidates of Master of Business Administration (MBA) and business master's degrees to be.

"The outlook among most employers indicates that business schools are on the right track preparing their graduates with the skills of current and growing importance to successfully navigate an information loaded and AI-affected world," said GMAC Chief Executive Officer, Joy Jones, in a statement.

Employers say communication, data analysis and strategy are currently among the most important skills for business school graduates, and most say their importance will continue to grow.

Notably, employers in the United States (US) interested in tech skills highly value their future importance but think business school graduates could be better prepared on specific technological capabilities.

The survey also revealed that US recruiters, along with their colleagues in the finance and accounting sectors, are also more critical of candidates' preparedness to leverage some important communication skills compared to other regions and think business schools could better build their graduates' intercultural skills.

Overall, employers tend to believe business school can offer an advantage over talent without a graduate management education.

Employers from Asia and Fortune 500 companies have a more optimistic view of the abilities and advancement potential of business school graduates, but also are more likely to recruit more heavily from "leading" business schools.

The survey also examines how macroeconomic conditions are influencing hiring and salary decisions across industries and around the globe.

Encouragingly, even after accounting for inflation, MBA salaries in 2023 in the US are expected to be higher than last year's projections, while industry and business master's salaries may drop. – BERNAMA

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