For a while now, there was this popular misconception that Masters of Business Administration degrees were slowly going extinct, and that fields like engineering and IT were the place to be for future entrepreneurs. However, demand for MBAs remains sky high according to various reports and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a look at the hard numbers on the demand for MBAs. We’ll then discuss the trends that are fueling this demand and the best choices MBA students can make to leverage their valuable credential.
The Hard Data
The job market for MBAs has made a full recovery since the financial crisis of a decade ago, when the demand for MBAs hit a record low. An industry survey found that five out of six corporate recruiters would hire MBA graduates, an increase from four out of five the year before.
There is such a tight job market for MBAs that businesses are hiring more junior candidates or those with specialized master’s degrees. Furthermore, demand is strong almost everywhere in the country and in the world. A GMAC survey found that demand for MBAs was positive in most regions and in every industry. Demand for newly graduated MBAs was strong in both the United States and Asia. Nine in ten companies in those regions said they intended to hire as many or more MBA graduates than the year before.
Furthermore, demand is especially strong when it comes to startups. In 2016, half of startups said that they had the intention of hiring MBAs. Two years later, three quarters of startups said they wanted MBAs on the payroll.
The Factors Driving This Trend
Master’s degrees in general are now seen as the necessary credential to move into management and administrative roles. This explains why manufacturing firms are hiring more people with master’s degrees in management, finance and accounting.
For example, half of employers said they’d hire masters of finance degrees, up 10 percent from over a year ago. Seventy percent of employers said they wanted to hire new graduate degree holders to work in marketing, finance and business development. Demand for MBAs is strong in consulting, general management and business operations.
How MBA Students Can Take Advantage of These Trends
Salaries for MBA graduates from top schools hover around $160,000 a year, but all MBA graduates can expect to be well compensated. The average salary for MBA graduates is around $110,000, an increase of five thousand dollars over the prior year. Those working in finance and accounting have an average pay of $120,000 a year. More than 90 percent of graduates have a job offer within three months of graduating.
MBA graduates should take advantage of this demand by applying for multiple jobs. You should apply to positions with manufacturers as well as financial services companies, since you want to maximize your odds of being hired with a high pay rate. If you have several offers, you can negotiate your salary, benefits and other intangibles. However, if you have a generic MBA, they may offer the same salary to everyone coming in. A side benefit of having multiple offers is that you know what the market thinks you are worth. Then you don’t lose goodwill with unreasonable demands.
Note that if you already have an MBA, you can change functions or sectors. However, this requires proving you have transferable skills or expertise. If you don’t have an MBA yet, earning a specialized degree or a general MBA with courses in the area you want to work in could provide that.
Redlands University Online offers a great MBA that teaches the fundamentals of business, communication, teamwork, decision making and ethics. They have concentrations in marketing, location analytics, general business and finance. This allows you to learn the latest techniques and best practices in a number of crucial fields in addition to classic knowledge about organizational behavior and budgeting.
A finance major with a masters in marketing is then primed to move into marketing. A business major with an MBA in location analytics could work in location-based marketing or shift to IT.
Demand for MBAs has rebounded from its low a decade ago, and is going to remain strong for years to come due to its widespread adoption as the certification of choice by employers for many different roles. Future MBAs are recommended to look at all the options available and see which ones fits their needs, interest, and aptitudes the best.