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MBA employment survey: MBA graduates report high starting salaries

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A large and growing number of MBA graduates - 46 per cent - are fielding employment offers with starting salaries of at least 125,000 US dollars per year, according to the tenth annual Training The Street (TTS) MBA Employment Survey.

At the same time, the provider of instructor-led courses reported that the number of graduates who received three or more job offers surged from 22 per cent a year ago to 28 per cent. A total of 54 per cent of those surveyed reported being "very satisfied" with their job offers, up from 48 per cent a year ago.

Amid the optimism, there are also hints of unease. There was a big drop off in the number of MBAs saying they were satisfied with their job offer(s) – 32 per cent versus 45 per cent last year - and a doubling (14 per cent against 7 per cent) in the number of MBAs who said they were "dissatisfied" with their job offer(s). The number of graduates who did not receive any employment offers remained about the same as last year, at 17 per cent.

"The war for talent is as strong as ever, and top candidates are in high demand, leading to higher starting salaries and multiple job offers," noted Scott Rostan, founder and CEO of Training The Street. "Demand for MBAs remains strong, but firms are being more discerning in an effort to recruit those who can step in and contribute right away."

Overall, optimism about employment prospects after school remained steady (55 per cent this year said they are "very optimistic" compared with 54 per cent last year). Continuing a trend seen in last year's survey, a much larger percentage of MBA graduates expressed a preference for working in consulting as compared to a traditional large Wall Street firm. Almost one in three grads said working in consulting was their number one choice. That compares with 20 per cent a year earlier. The surge in MBAs hoping to work in consulting may reflect greater marketing efforts by consulting firms. More than half of respondents – 51 per cent - said consulting firms actively recruited them, up from 43 per cent last year. On-campus interviews continue to be the way most MBAs find employment, as 64 per cent said they found their job that way.

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