While students are still worried about landing post-graduate jobs in the tight job market, career service directors predict that 2010 may be “the year of the [MBA job market] turnaround,” reports BusinessWeek last week. Some of these encouraging signs include an increase of full-time MBA job postings—70% of schools saw a decrease in postings last year and this year, 48% saw decreases while 34% actually saw increases—an increase of internships opportunities, and the fact that more second-year MBA students have accepted job offers than last year’s class at this time.
Michelle Antonio, director of MBA career management at Wharton, says she is “cautiously optimistic that come spring things will look better than they did last year.”
Career services directors’ optimism increases proportionally to MBA recruiter business improvements. The better large corporations do in this economy, the greater chances there will be for increased hiring. Many companies that had put their hiring on hold or who had decreased hiring last year are beginning to pick up again and expect an increase in MBA hiring this spring. These companies include Gallup Inc. and Liberty Mutual Group Inc.
Alongside increased hiring rates, however, comes increased application rates, which means it may not be any easier this year to get a job as it was last year, even despite the higher availability of options. Ann Nowak, Liberty Mutual’s director of recruiting, says that her company now receives about 1000 resumes a day, up from last year’s 350 a day. “MBA students have always had to be really good,” says Nowak, “but now you have to be even better in how you approach the company.”
A recent GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey found that the majority of 2009 MBA grads (96% of those who completed the survey) were employed within just a few months after completing their degrees. Most business school graduates with jobs were satisfied with their salaries (though the mean was slightly lower than last year) and most were satisfied with their jobs in general. (Follow the link for more GMAC survey findings.)
Conclusion: Finding a job in this economy is not easy—no one will deny that—but for graduates of top MBA programs, the jobs are there and employers are hiring. With the right profile, skills, networking, and…let’s face it…a little luck, MBA grads should embrace the job market with just a little bit of cautious optimism.
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