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Expanding job search pays off for business school grads
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11th Mar, 2011 | Source : Graduate Management Admission Council


Those graduating from business school in 2010 approached the job search more flexible about industries, work locations and salaries. And casting a wider net paid off for them: Out of 824 class of 2010 alumni surveyed in September in the Graduate Management Admission Council’s Alumni Perspectives Survey, 88 percent were employed, up four percentage points from the class of 2009, surveyed a year before.

“The graduates from the Class of 2010 expanded their job search efforts to some extent as a result of the tough marketplace,” said survey author Sabeen Sheikh, a GMAC research manager. “For full-time MBA graduates—more so than part-time or executive MBA alumni—this resulted in greater openness to different functions and industries, as well as work locations, and compensation levels. Not wanting to minimize their job search and their extensive efforts led the vast majority of them to securing a placement.”

The Alumni Perspectives Survey is a longitudinal survey that tracks career progression of business school graduates, assesses the benefits of management education over time, and monitors alumni educational needs. The 2011 survey found that 93 percent of all graduates surveyed from among the classes of 2000 to 2010 were employed at a median salary of $94,542. In addition, the longer they had spent with the same employer, the higher their median salary.

“Prospective students may find it reassuring that the vast majority of recent business school alumni are employed and value their degree very highly,” Sheikh said. “Like recent alumni, prospective students may want to look beyond traditional sectors such as finance and consulting when they‘re looking for a job when they graduate. Such expanded job search efforts seemed to have helped the Class of 2010.”

Surveyed for the first time in September, the class of 2010 sent out an average of 33 resumes or applications (23 median), went on an average of six (five median) job interviews, yielding 1.9 job offers (two median).

Other key findings on how the class of 2010 fared on the job market:

  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents reported that the job they acquired was definitely the one they desired, and 37 percent said it was somewhat like the job they desired. Broadening their job search methods and targeting a wider segment of the job market allowed them more options on which to base their career decisions.
  • Although most made cold calls to companies (62 percent) and monitored online job boards (61 percent), actually landing their first post-graduation job often required more direct connections. The methods most credited with getting a job were networking with personal contacts (37 percent) and on-campus interviewing (20 percent).
  • With a median starting salary of US$78,820, 70 percent said their starting salary met or exceeded their expectations, and 76 percent indicated their graduate business degree was essential to the success of these efforts.

The Graduate Management Admission Council is a nonprofit education organization based in Reston, Va., with regional offices in London, Hong Kong, and India. GMAC administers the GMAT® exam, which was created in 1954 and is now used by nearly 5,000 graduate management programs at approximately 1,900 business schools worldwide. More information about the GMAT exam is available at


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