Starting Salaries Climb For New MBAs

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Starting salaries of newly graduated MBAs have risen 4.2 percent since 2005, spurred by hiring among employers confident about the overall economic outlook.

The average graduate will earn a base salary of $92,360 during their first year of employment, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, an organization of graduate business schools. In addition, two-thirds of MBA job offers included signing bonuses, averaging $17,603, up slightly from last year.

More MBAs are finding their jobs while still in school, continuing a multiyear trend. Fifty two percent of respondents to the GMAC survey said they had received or accepted a job offer before graduation, compared with 50 percent in 2005, 42 percent in 2004 and 36 percent in 2003.

The job aims of MBA graduates and the needs of employers seem to be aligned, the survey found. For example, nearly half the respondents said they hoped to land a midlevel position - the very type of role for which recruiters are most likely to hire. The greatest percentage of students want to enter the finance/accounting industry, followed by the products/services and consulting sectors. The energy/utilities industry garnered the least interest among graduates.

The survey includes responses from 6,139 students at 147 business schools worldwide. A third of the respondents are citizens of countries other than the U.S.

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