QS TopMBA.com Salary & Recruitment Trends: 2009 Report
2. Key findings 2009 is that year that many MBA students and Careers Officers have expressed sighs of relief, as the impact of the global recession has been much lighter than expected. And as Dr Simon Taylor of Judge Business School says, “once we have got over the credit crunch, the prospect is for strong long-term growth in demand for MBAs.” At the start of the year, the threat of a global economic depression akin to the 1930s had MBAs in a panic about job prospects. The reality is that graduating MBAs have fared relatively well in this job market, benefiting from the global and sector flexibility afforded by the MBA qualification. In addition, MBA salaries seem to be holding firm, another consequence of strong residual demand. The effects of quantitative easing and bank bailouts has been to protect one of the primary sectors for MBA hiring – financial services – resulting in hiring levels well above even the most optimistic forecasts at the start of the year. Optimism amongst Directors of large companies has also resulted in a counter-cyclical growth in demand for consultancy work in major business and financial centres – hence the second vital sector for MBA hiring has also fared relatively well in this downturn. Within many parts of the world, particularly in the USA, industrial and technology companies have been badly affected by the sharp contraction in global trade caused by the credit squeeze and we are seeing significant reductions in domestic US demand for MBAs as a consequence. It remains unclear whether this contraction in global trade has now bottomed out, but MBA hiring in the industrial and technology sectors remain closely correlated with global trade and GDP growth. The continued high growth rates in economies like China and India, are feeding directly into buoyant demand for MBAs in these regions, which is spreading throughout the North Asia and South East Asia region MBA demand worldwide this year will be only slightly below 2008 record levels. The TopMBA.com Index of MBA Recruiting shows an overall -5% (11%) decline in demand for MBAs in 2009. The decline is concentrated in financial services which show a -10% (0%) fall in hiring levels. The consulting sector defies the recession, to growing MBA demand by 3% (-4%). By contrast MBA demand in general industry is flat (9%), and demand in the technology sector has grown by just 1% (0%).
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The forecasts for 2010 remain cautious, with recruiters anticipating overall MBA demand to remain at 2009 levels. In particular, financial services expects to increase MBA demand by 5% next year and the consulting sector expects demand to be very similar to this year. Technology expects a -5% fall and general industry also expects a reduction in demand by -6%. These trends suggest a lagged effect from the recession impacting on hiring forecasts and we expect the actual 2010 hiring trends to be slightly more positive than this. What is clear is that MBA demand is no longer concentrated on North America, which in fact is showing declines in MBA hiring, but is moving towards emerging markets in Asia, Middle East and Central Europe where high GDP growth rates are fuelling an MBA hiring boom. Furthermore, employers are looking for much more experienced candidates than in the past. Our 2009 research reveals a sharp drop in employer demand for MBAs with less than 3 years of experience and a sharp increase in demand for MBAs with over five years of experience. In particular, leadership, communication, interpersonal and strategic thinking skills are at a premium, with less and less emphasis being placed on the technical skills taught by business schools. The outlook for MBA salaries seems to be stabilising overall, after several years of strong growth, but there is little evidence of downward pressure. The average MBA salary reported by MBA employers in the USA and Western Europe is $91,500, compared to $53,300 in Latin America, $55,000 in Asia and $49,560 in Eastern Europe. Responses were received from across the globe. 32% (30%) of employer respondents were based in Western Europe, 22% (40%) were based in North America, 25% (17%) in Asia-Pacific (North and South East), 14% (8%) in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 10% (5%) of respondents were based in Latin America. This breadth of response provides detailed insights into MBA recruiting patterns across the globe. Responding recruiters span a wide spectrum of industries, which is consistent with the profile and range of recruiters at most top business schools. Financial services and consulting make up the largest source of respondents followed by technology, industry, banking and consumer goods. Respondents from the recruitment consulting industry are kept separate although they have a bias towards financial services and consulting recruitment.
QS TopMBA.com Salary & Recruitment Trends 2009 Report