Sunday, June 05, 2005

Read an excerpt from the MBA Career Bible

A light at the end of the tunnel, finally
After years of rescinded offers, suspended recruiting, and overall retrenchment, the corporate world is hiring MBAs again. In a survey published in 2004, the MBA Career Services Council (MBA CSC) reported that the job market for MBAs had improved "noticeably" from the previous year: 60 percent of schools reported that on-campus recruiting had increased. (Eight percent of schools indicated that recruiting had increased by more than 25 percent.)
William Brady, president of the MBA CSC and director of Graduate Career Management at Brigham Young University's Marriott School, said, "Demand for MBA graduates has increased this year, lagging behind the recently reported productivity gains and overall modest economic recovery. Schools are indicating more on-campus activity across several broad industry sectors."
The hiring increase has extended to summer internships for MBA students: 46 percent of schools that responded to GMAC's survey indicated that their on-campus internship recruiting had increased.
The gradually improving picture drawn by career services directors is supported by recruiters themselves. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council's (GMAC, the organization that administers the GMAT business school admissions test) 2003-2004 Corporate Recruiters Survey, the percentage of corporate recruiters who said they believed the economy was weak dropped from 99 percent in 2001-2002 to 96 percent in 2002-2003 and then 82 percent by the 2003-2004 year. More importantly, in 2001-2002, 69 percent of recruiters said that the economy was constraining its recruiting plans; only 50 percent said the same in 2003-2004.

Where and why they're hiring
According to GMAC's Corporate Recruiters Survey, finance is the job area for which there is most MBA recruiting activity. Of the more than 1,000 employers surveyed, 62 percent reported that they were recruiting MBAs into the finance function. The breakdown of other functions for MBA hiring was as follows: marketing (49 percent), accounting (30 percent), general management (29 percent), operations and logistics (28 percent), information technology (26 percent), consulting (21 percent), human resources (17 percent) and entrepreneurship (7 percent).
As for the criteria used in hiring MBA graduates, strong communication/interpersonal skills was the area considered most important, according to the survey: 57 percent of recruiters consider this characteristic "extremely important" when hiring MBAs. The other two most important criteria were a proven ability to perform (47 percent indicated this as extremely important) and cultural fit with company (46 percent). All other factors, including quantitative knowledge/technical skills, MBA functional area/concentration of study, and reputation of MBA school, were each considered "extremely important" by less than 25 percent of recruiters.
Available from: www.vault.com/store/book_preview.jsp?product_id=34265 [accessed 5th June, 2005]

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