By Max Clarke

Interestingly, despite concerns about the global economy, new research from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), administrators of the GMAT exam, has revealed job prospects for recent MBA graduates are on the rise in 2011, bolstered by a shift in business priorities amongst employers.

Of the 210 employers surveyed globally in the 2010 year-end poll for employers, 78% reported that improving performance and productivity was their organisational priority for 2011. As the global economy continues to recover, the outlook in terms of employment and salary for recent MBA graduates globally is bright, because their skills are the most aligned with new corporate and strategic goals. Employers have realised the value in hiring recent MBAs, more so than those with other educational backgrounds, as they believe they can provide the most value in contributing to this goal.

One survey participant commented, “The job market for graduating business students is improving, and more hires are expected next year. The personnel cuts that took place during the crisis have stopped. Business is recovering and looking for stability and steady growth.”

Dave Wilson, CEO, GMAC can elaborate further on key findings from this year-end poll of employers, conducted in November 2010:-

· Recent MBAs globally top the list of master-level graduates hired in 2010 (60%) and prospective hires for 2011 (64%).

· 2% more firms globally in 2010 hired MBA graduates than expected, with 11% of companies surveyed hiring a greater number of recent MBA graduates than planned.

· 34 % of hiring employers globally reported that in 2011 they intend to hire more recent MBA graduates. This exceeds the figure for other categories of master-level graduates.

· Although average annual salaries in 2011 are expected to remain at 2010 levels for all types of new hires, 26% of companies plan to offer higher salaries to recent MBA graduates hired in 2011, a figure which is higher than that for other master-level graduates and those with a bachelor’s degree.

These statistics suggest the MBA has become a key differentiator for recruiters, who have realised the value MBA graduates can deliver in terms of performance and productivity in the workplace.