In a further indication of a return to economic confidence, the number of companies planning to recruit MBA graduates in 2014 is on the rise, according to the latest recruiter survey from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), authors of the GMAT business school entry test.

According to GMAC, 80 per cent of business school recruiters plan to hire MBAs this year, up seven percentage points from 2013 and 30 percentage points higher than in 2009, in the heart of the economic crisis. At that time just half of employers hired MBA graduates.

The surge is from all types of recruiters and from companies across the globe, according to Sangeet Chowfla, president of GMAC.

“MBAs have always been valued by employers, but this survey shows that as the economy improves, employers see MBAs as a good investment into their future.”

Recruiters expect to pay MBAs median base salaries of $95,000 in the US and $69,000 in Europe ($83,000 in Western Europe).

In spite of the upturn in recruitment patterns in the US, however, recruiters there are largely unwilling to recruit those overseas graduates that require a visa to work in the US. More than half of the US respondents (53 per cent) said they will not hire candidates that require a visa. The figure was lower in Asia (33 per cent) and even lower in Europe (31 per cent), in spite of widespread concerns about immigration in European countries.

The GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey analysed responses from 565 employers from 44 countries and was compiled in February and March. The survey included 32 of the top 100 companies in the FT 500 and 36 of the Fortune 100 and was conducted in partnership with Brussels-based EFMD and the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance in the US.

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