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People who just earned their MBA have another reason to celebrate: 86 percent of U.S. companies with business school recruiters plan to hire MBA graduates in 2014, up from 81 percent in 2013 and 51 percent in 2009 during the economic downturn.
That’s according to a global survey of business school recruiters for 565 employers, including 36 Fortune 100 companies.
The projected median U.S. base salary for MBAs in 2014 is $95,000, similar to last year. That compares with a median annual salary of $50,000 for bachelor’s degree recipients, says the survey, conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT exam.
Globally, U.S. firms have the strongest demand for MBA hires, said Michelle Sparkman Renz, director of research communications at the council. The demand for all job candidates has increased in the U.S. from last year, with about 78 percent of these employers planning to hire bachelor’s degree graduates, up from 77 percent in 2013, she said.
The latest findings confirm a recent CareerBuilder survey that showed more employers plan to hire college graduates this year than last year.
There was an uptick in MBA hires at firms in the West and Midwest, Renz said. “This reflects a growth in the need for MBAs at tech and manufacturing firms, which aren’t traditionally the leading sectors in recruiting at business schools, but they are key sectors for the overall economic climate of the U.S. in general.”
■ 40 percent of employers plan to hire master of accounting graduates, up from 35 percent in 2013.
■ 46 percent plan to hire other specialized business master’s graduates, up from 41 percent in 2013.
■ 81 percent plan to hire people already in the workforce, up from 80 percent in 2013.
■ 73 percent of U.S. companies plan to improve performance/productivity, 55 percent, to expand their customer base, 48 percent to launch new products and services, 48 percent to reduce costs, 41 percent to improve customer service, 32 percent to expand geographically, and 23 percent to overcome economic challenges.
Companies are less worried about reducing costs and overcoming economic challenges and more focused on launching new products and services and expanding customer base, Renz said.