MBA Hiring Forecast Improved for 2006

March 30, 2006 ( - Employers are preparing to hire significantly more new MBAs in 2006 than they did last year, according to a survey of corporate recruiters released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Corporate recruiters said they plan to hire 18% more MBAs this year than in 2005, on average, with finance and marketing expertise in particularly high demand, according to a Council news release. In addition, recruiters whose view of the economy is generally positive expect to visit an average of about 10 business schools in 2006, up from nine last year.

Nearly 40% of recruiters surveyed said they place significant weight on “soft” skills – intangible qualities such as leadership potential and communication expertise – when judging people they interview. Respondents said MBA graduates are generally well grounded in traditional business skills such as problem-solving and analytical thinking.

MBA graduates this year can expect to earn an average starting base salary of $80,809, with total compensation hitting an estimated $99,737 when fringe benefits, bonuses and other factors are taken into account, the release said.

The 2006 Graduate Management Admission Council Corporate Recruiters Survey includes responses from 1,270 recruiters representing 737 companies that hire MBAs. More information can be found at .