MBA News: Should GMAC be so Upbeat about Jobs?

Today, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), a non-profit foundation and the owner of the GMAT test, sent out a press release stating, “Today’s challenging economic conditions have not spoiled the party for new MBAs seeking to put their degrees to work” and then offered the evidence:

“…fifty-seven percent of the graduating business school students Participating in the Council’s annual poll of new MBAs — and in the market for a job — said they had received an offer of employment. Not since the 2001 Global MBA survey has such a large proportion of new MBAs had a job lined up in advance of graduation.”

We hate to be the ones to spoil the party, but the results of MBA hiring reflect past decisions, more than the current economic climate. In general, this year’s crop of MBA talent benefitted from obtaining full time offers via their internships, prior to the bursting of the credit bubble and the resulting economic decline. Further, if GMAC is using 2001 as its benchmark, it might also, in fairness, mention that (similarly) the Class of 2001 graduated prior to the worst of the economic fallout at that time as well — the Class of 2001 had offers in hand when the technology bubble deflated and was already apart of the workforce when the attacks of September 11th occurred. Indeed, it was the Classes of 2002 and 2003 which suffered as the economy slowed down. We hope that this pattern does not repeate itself with the Classes of 2008 and 2009, only time will tell. In the meantime, we offer a more sobering view…

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