While MBA graduates are worried about their job prospects, most continue to receive competitive job offers, according to a new study by Training The Street, a corporate training provider.
In fact, the survey finds that 10 percent of respondents are less optimistic about their job prospects than in 2011, despite 94 percent of them receiving invitations for at least one first-round interview as opposed to 91 percent in 2011. Another 78 percent of respondents have been given at least one offer, up from 72 percent in 2011, and 50 percent of respondents have received multiple offers, an increase from 41 percent in 2011.
"This is now our third-annual survey, and one theme remains consistent: Individuals with strong educational backgrounds and a diverse set of skills are in demand regardless of economic conditions," says Scott Rostan, founder and Principal of Training The Street. "Bulge bracket banks are still aggressively interviewing and hiring MBA candidates."
Of the top hiring employers are major investment banks at 49 percent, consulting firms at 39 percent, boutique advisory firms at 36 percent and global financial institutions at 27 percent.
"We still see consistent hiring from the big investment banks," says Chirag Saraiya, adjunct professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a principal at TTS. "We've also noticed a more diverse base of firms actively recruiting MBAs, including startup companies and real estate firms."
An additional 53 percent of respondents reporting obtaining positions through campus recruiting, and 21 percent of respondents say they received offers through independent job searches. Eighteen percent of respondents say they have received offers from personal references.
Respondents consider interpersonal skills and teamwork as the most important factor in securing a job offer at 29 percent while industry expertise comes in second at 26 percent. Fifty-eight percent of respondents expect their next positions to last between three to five years while 10 percent of respondents believe their next positions will last at least eight years.
The survey also finds that 47 percent of respondents expect their starting salaries to range from $100,000-125,000, and only 7 percent of respondents are unhappy with their employment offers.