A press release on the survey results said respondents plan to hire an average of 18% more MBAs in 2007. This increase is on top of an 18% increase in 2006 MBA hiring projected in the last survey.
While recruiters surveyed said they plan to increase the number of jobs for people with graduate degrees in areas other than business by about 16%, they also said they anticipate cutting the number of positions aimed at people completing undergraduate degrees this year by more than 7%, the release said.
Recruiters also indicated more interest in specialized skills individuals develop in graduate business school and said they are willing to pay more for these abilities in new employees. Respondents said they are especially drawn to the expertise in managing corporate strategy and motivating teams of workers that MBA students build in business school.
The council found that recruiters said they plan to offer annual base salaries to people with graduate business degrees that are 28% higher than what they extend to new hires with other types of graduate degrees, and are willing to pay 84% more to new MBAs or other high-level business degree recipients than to people with only an undergraduate education.
The 2007 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey included responses from 1,382 recruiters representing 1,029 companies around the world that hire MBAs or others with graduate business educations, including 149 of the Fortune 500 and 109 of the Fortune Global 500.