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MBA Employers Place Soft skills Above Academic Achievement

MBA jobs are booming and salaries have grown by $10,000 over a decade

Fri Oct 16 2015

MBA employers have ranked communication and interpersonal as the skills most important in this year’s QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report.

MBA graduates tend to satisfy recruiters with quantifiable technical skills. Yet with employers placing a high premium on the “soft-side”, MBAs are falling short of their expectations.

Sure to madden MBAs, who have spent months trawling through text books studying for exams, academic achievement is listed among the least important facets. Instead, employers place the greatest emphasis on skills that are better learnt on the job.

With this in mind, recruiters are increasingly looking for employees with more years of hands-on work experience. Today, only 28% of employers seek out MBAs with work experience of three years or less, down from 35% in 2011, according to the QS report.

MBA Jobs Boom

For MBAs with the perfect blend of skills and experience, the future is bright. This year saw an impressive 14% growth in MBA jobs globally.

The US — where MBAs are most sought-after — and Canada experienced massive growth of 26% in MBA job opportunities, high above the 10% forecast by QS and a significant recovery from the early post-recession era when growth was as low as 2%.

The rapid and relentless rise of the Asia Pacific region persists, with MBA job opportunities growing there by 18%. A massive increase in the hiring of MBAs for consulting and professional services in the Asia Pacific area indicates the region’s growing maturity as an MBA jobs market.

The resilience of the MBA can be seen in Western Europe too, where, in spite of ongoing issues in the Eurozone, growth continued to hold steady at 9% this year.

Reflecting the desire of the BRIC countries for MBA expertise to aid their growth, India and Brazil make up the top three; China comes in at no 8; and Russia at no 14.

The two recruiting stalwarts of the MBA world — finance and consulting — still employ the highest numbers of MBAs.

Yet underlining the MBA degree’s growing diversity, many of the biggest growth figures globally come from smaller sectors, such as consumer goods, construction, and property.

Schools Pay Off

The business school you go to can significantly affect your future salary. There were no surprises in the US, as the MBA graduates of 2014 with the highest average salaries came from Stanford ($129,600), Harvard ($125,500) and Wharton ($123,400).

Eleven European schools recorded average graduate salaries of more than $100,000. Swiss schools — St Gallen, Lausanne and IMD — all recorded salaries higher than $120,000. London Business School came close behind with $118,900. London’s Cass Business School $109,400; and IESE Business School $103,100.

INSEAD, which has a campus in Singapore, dominates in Asia with an average graduate salary of $114,100, while CEIBS ($67,200) and CUHK ($51,400) make up Asia Pacific’s top-nine schools with average graduate salaries of more than $50,000.

Swiss Bankers Are As Rich As Ever

In the last 10 years MBA salary levels around the world have grown by almost $10,000.

Today, the highest average MBA salaries are found in New Zealand ($140,000), Switzerland ($131,100), and Australia ($124,800). The average MBA salary in the US is $103,300; the UK $98,500; Singapore $95,600.

MBAs working in law ($165,000), finance ($99,000) and pharmaceuticals ($97,800) earn the highest salaries by sector. The biggest bonuses are found in retail ($50,000), although the controversial banker bonuses still come in at an average of $30,600.

So, for MBAs looking to maximise their earning potential, the steps are simple: pick a top school, focus on your soft skills, re-locate to New Zealand, and work in law. Easy.

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School




On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.




On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.




On Campus


I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London




On Campus


The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.




On Campus


The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather




On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.




On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.




On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.




On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society