New GMAC Study Shows Graduate Business Programmes Inspire New Career Pathways

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More than half of graduate business school alumni are currently employed in an industry or job function they did not have experience in prior to entering business school, according to a report released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC). The 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report showes that 2 in 5 (39%) alumni currently work in an industry they hadn’t considered prior to starting business school; they learned of the opportunity while enrolled in a graduate business programme, with 88% sharing that they are2017 Feb ResearchInsights CareerPossibilities 400x310 satisfied with their job and employer.

Moreover, they survey shows that nearly all (95%) survey respondents rate their graduate management education a good to outstanding value. On average, the total compensation package for graduate business school alumni can range from a median of US$75,513 for an entry-level position upward to a median of US$440,122 in total compensation for a C-suite executive.

They survey also outlines great employment prospects for business school graduates. Ninety-two percent of survey respondents are currently employed — 8 in 10 overall (81%) worldwide are employed with a company and 11 percent are self-employed entrepreneurs. Globally, the products and services (27%), technology (14%), and finance and accounting (11%) sectors employ the greatest proportion of alumni represented in this survey.

Though alumni work across the spectrum of industries, their degree type often differentiates career paths. MBA alumni are more likely to work in technology, nonprofit and government, manufacturing, health care, energy, and utilities, compared with alumni holding non-MBA master’s degrees. Business master’s alumni, for example, are more likely to be found employed in finance, accounting and consulting industries.

As for job functions, MBA alumni are more likely to hold positions in marketing, sales, operations, logistics, and general management. Alumni of non-MBA business master’s degrees are more likely to work in finance, accounting, and human resource positions.

In total, more than 4 in 5 alumni agree their education prepared them for leadership positions (86%), prepared them for their chosen career (85%), and increased their earnings power (82%).

Most alumni delay their entrepreneurial activities until after graduation. In fact, 2 in 3 alumni entrepreneurs began their business after graduation following employment at another company. One in 8 alumni entrepreneurs sought venture capital and 72% of these individuals received such funding. Half of the alumni entrepreneurs say their university provided faculty guidance, experts from the community, and mentors to guide their entrepreneurial activities.

Alumni rank interpersonal skills as most important in the workplace, regardless of job level or function. Among the top five talents important to their job, the ones related to “people” skills or emotional intelligence are highly ranked by alumni. Other skills predominate as one moves up the corporate ladder. Alumni in higher-level positions are more likely to indicate that managing human capital, strategy and innovation, and the decision-making process are more important to their current job compared with alumni in lower-level positions.

Most alumni are very likely to recommend their graduate business programme to colleagues and friends. The overall Net Promoter Score — a customer loyalty metric — that business schools receive from their alumni is 47, which is greater than scores received in many sectors of the economy. Net Promoter Scores are positive for all graduate business programs, although differences by program type range from 22 for Master in Management programmes to 62 for full-time two-year MBA programmes.

If offered the choice, more than 9 in 10 (92%) alumni would have pursued their graduate management education knowing what they know now.

To download GMAC’s 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report, visit gmac.com/alumniperspectives or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for press.

Would like like to meet and discuss with your fellow Alumni Professionals? Join the 2017 EFMD Conference for International and External Relations, PR, Marketing, Communication and Alumni Professionals, hosted by Lee Kong Chian School of Business at the Singapore University of Management on 6-7 April 2017.