SOURCE: Graduate Management Admission Council

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) logo

February 04, 2010 14:36 ET

Most New MBAs Find Jobs Shortly After Earning Degrees, GMAC Survey Finds

MCLEAN, VA--(Marketwire - February 4, 2010) - Even as job-seekers at all levels continue to struggle with a tight labor market, the majority of people who earned an MBA or other graduate management degree in 2009 were employed within a few months of finishing school, according to a new report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Three-quarters of business school graduates who earned MBAs from full-time programs in 2009 and participated in GMAC's semi-annual Alumni Perspectives Survey had a job when GMAC conducted the survey in September 2009. Among survey participants who completed part-time MBA programs in 2009, 96 percent said they were employed when the survey was conducted. Eighty-five percent of respondents who received other types of graduate management degrees during the year were employed at the time of the study.

"The knowledge, skills and networks of contacts people develop in business school give them a clear edge in the job market," said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC. "The remarkable success individuals with graduate management degrees continue to have when looking for employment -- even in a down economy -- is further evidence of the high value employers place on management education."

GMAC is an international nonprofit association of top business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used by thousands of MBA and other graduate management programs around the world as part of the admissions process. A record 269,614 GMAT exams were taken worldwide in 2009.

Although most 2009 business school graduates were able to land jobs quickly, many found that the starting salaries they were offered were lower than those offered to their counterparts from previous years, according to the survey. The median starting salary for all survey participants who finished school last year was $79,271, down slightly from the $80,000 median starting salary members of the class of 2008 received.

Still, most people indicated they were satisfied with the salaries they were offered. Fifty-two percent said their pay met their expectations, and another 14 percent said they were paid more than they anticipated. Survey participants who said their compensation was less than they expected reported lower salaries, on average, than those who were happier with their earnings.

Members of the class of 2009 also reported solid levels of satisfaction with their jobs. Fifty-eight percent said they were in the kind of position they had hoped to find, 48 percent indicated they were very or extremely satisfied with the direction their career was taking, and 47 percent said they felt their employer placed particular value on their graduate management degree. Seventy-eight percent of respondents who graduated in 2009 reported that their degree was essential to landing their job.

GMAC's September survey of business school alumni included responses from 1,208 people who received a graduate management degree in 2009. Overall, the survey drew 3,966 respondents representing every business school graduating classes since 2000. A summary of the survey's findings and a comprehensive report with data from the study are available at

The Graduate Management Admission Council ( is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools worldwide dedicated to creating access to and disseminating information about graduate management education. GMAC is based in McLean, Virginia, and has a European office in London. The GMAT was created in 1954 and is used by approximately 4,700 graduate management programs at some 1,900 business schools around the world to assess applicants. The GMAT -- the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide -- is currently available at more than 450 test centers in over 110 countries. More information about the GMAT is available at