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2015/16

QS TopMBA.com
Jobs & Salary Trends
Report

Mansoor Iqbal (BA University of Leicester, MA University College London)


Benjamin Clayton (BA University of Cambridge)

Introduction and Methodology

Since 1990, the QS Intelligence Unit, in col-

tive companies. We ask them to tell us

laboration with TopMBA.com, has conducted

about current and future levels of hiring

an annual survey of MBA employers world-

and remuneration, and use this to map out

wide to determine trends in international

global, regional and industry trends.

salaries and recruitment. QS is proud to


produce the longest-established, geographically-broadest and most-comprehensive
global review of MBA jobs and salary trends.

The 2015 QS Employer Survey is as extensive as ever and presents an unrivalled


overview of the world MBA recruitment
market. For the purpose of this report,

The survey is targeted at those with respon-

responses were received from 3,952 com-

sibility for MBA recruiting in their respec-

panies in 88 countries.

Contributors
Mansoor Iqbal

Benjamin Clayton

(BA University of Leicester,

(BA University of Cambridge)

MA University College London)


Mansoor is the author of the report and the

gence Unit, where he focuses on business

editor of TopMBA.com. He is a higher and

schools, MBAs, and the development of the

business education specialist with a back-

English language as a method of instruc-

ground in consumer journalism, and has

tion. He holds a BA in politics, sociology and

worked at QS since 2011. Mansoor studied

international relations.

English literature at both BA and MA level.

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Benjamin is an analyst with the QS Intelli-

Contents
Introduction and Methodology
0. Fast Facts
1. Global Trends in MBA Jobs and Salaries
1.1 Growth in MBA jobs by region
1.2 Top 20 countries for MBA demand
1.3 Compensation by region
1.4 Growth in MBA jobs by industry
1.5 Salaries by industry (US & Canada and Western Europe)
2. Long-Term Trends in MBA Jobs and Salaries
2.1 Index of long-term hiring trends
2.2 Long-term trends in MBA salary levels
2.3 Long-term trends in functional roles

3. US & Canada
3.1 MBA hiring trends
3.2 Which regions do employers from
the US & Canada look to when hiring
3.3 Salary trends
3.4 Top salaries by school
4. Western Europe
4.1 MBA hiring trends
4.2 Which regions do employers from
Western Europe look to when hiring?
4.3 Salary trends
4.4 Top salaries by school
5. Asia-Pacific
5.1 MBA hiring trends
5.2 Which regions do employers from
Asia-Pacific look to when hiring?
5.3 Salary trends
5.4 Top salaries by school

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15
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6. Eastern Europe
6.1 MBA hiring trends
6.2 Which regions do employers from
Eastern Europe look to when hiring?
6.3 Salary trends
7. Latin America
7.1 MBA hiring trends
7.2 Which regions do employers from Latin
America look to when hiring?
7.3 Salary trends
7.4 Top salaries by school
8. Middle East & Africa
8.1 MBA hiring trends
8.2 Which regions do employers from the
Middle East & Africa look to when hiring?
8.3 Salary trends
8.4 Top salaries by school

9. What Employers Look For


9.1 Desired skills vs. satisfaction
9.2 Preferred years of work experience among employers 2011-2015
9.3 Functional roles offered
10. Who Responded to the QS Employer Survey?
10.1 Regional breakdown of MBA employer respondents
10.2 Employer response by size 2015
10.3 Employer response by industry 2013-2015
10.4 Sample of responding employers by region 2015

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0. Fast Facts

1. Global Trends in MBA Jobs and Salaries

3. US & Canada

14% growth in MBA jobs globally.

Stellar year for the worlds

US and India remain worlds biggest

markets for MBA jobs.


Growth in nearly every industry
outstrips predictions.
Mixed results in terms of compensation levels, with some regions faring better than others.
2. Long-Term Trends in MBA

most mature market, with 26%


growth in opportunities.
Employers in the region becoming more
global in their hiring outlook.
4. Western Europe
A good year, with 9% growth in jobs
significantly exceeding expectations.
Growth driven by technology

Jobs and Salaries

and industry & non-profes-

Industry & non-professional services

sional services sectors.

sector growing rapidly.


Slow recovery towards pre-recession
peak for MBA salary levels in the US &
Canada and Western Europe.

5. Asia-Pacific
Rapid growth shows no signs of abating,
with an 18% rise in opportunities.
India and China the engine rooms
of growth, with the jobs market in the latter showing signs of
increasing maturity.

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6. Eastern Europe

8. Middle East & Africa

A slower year for the region, with only

Growth is slower than anticipated

4% growth reported, though 2015/16

at 8%, with a further slowdown

expected to be a much stronger year.

predicted next year.

A bad year for Russia with reduced


salary offers compounding
reduced opportunities.
7. Latin America
Not a good year for Latin American

worlds most outward looking.


9. What Employers Look For
Soft skills are an area for concern,
with a clear disparity between

MBA employers, who report only 1%

employers expectations and

growth; better expected in 2015/16.

satisfaction levels.

Brazil has experienced a slowdown, while Mexico and Peru have

Employers in the region are the

There is a long-term trend towards


hiring more-experienced candidates.

seen healthy growth.

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1. Global Trends in MBA Jobs & Salaries


1.1 Growth in MBA jobs by region

26

4%

9%

18

8%

1%

Region

2014/2015 (forecast)

2014/2015 (actual)

2015/2016 (forecast)

Asia-Pacific

8%

18%

13%

Eastern Europe

5%

4%

17%

Latin America

8%

1%

14%

Middle East & Africa

12%

8%

3%

US & Canada

9%

26%

14%

Western Europe

3%

9%

2%

14%

11%

Global

The most eye-catching figure in this years report is the 26% growth in MBA jobs in the US &
Canada a stunning recovery in a region which has experienced sluggish progress in the years
following the Great Recession. As recently as 2012/13, the regions growth figure was as low as 2%,
so this represents an amazing turnaround which, as we can see, far exceeds expectations.

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Growth in Western Europe a region for

Recent years, however, have shown us that

which tumult seems to have become the

the MBA has become a truly global quali-

norm will also make for welcome reading.

fication, best demonstrated by its aston-

For the first time in a good number of years,

ishing rise in Asia-Pacific. Indeed, during

the worlds two most mature MBA markets

times of slow growth in the US & Canada

seem to be in rude health an indicator of

and in Western Europe, it has been noth-

the resilience of the MBA degree.

ing less than strident in the eastern power-

houses across the Asia-Pacific region the engine


room of growth in MBA hiring in recent years.
The surprise this year is that while we expected
a leveling out as Asia-Pacifics markets grow

ever more mature, the appetites of the regions


employers for MBAs have shown no signs of dulling, with yet another year of remarkable growth.
Unfortunately, growth has not exceeded expectations universally. It has been a particularly hard
year for MBA employers in Latin America, while
Eastern Europe has fared little better. In both
regions, however, employers are optimistic that
this time next year, we will have more positive
findings to discuss.
While opportunities in the Middle East & Africa
have not quite grown to last years high expectations, 8% is a considerable improvement on
2013/14s growth of 2%. After a few years of
overoptimistic predictions, however, it does seem
like employers have cooled their expectations
for 2015/16 in the youngest of MBA markets. The
current level of hiring, it seems, is perhaps sufficient for the regions needs.

26% growth in MBA jobs in the US & Canada


a stunning recovery in a region which has experienced sluggish progress in
the years following the Great Recession.

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UNITED
N
STATES

1.2 Top 20 countries for MBA demand

INDIA

BRAZIL

the worlds largest economy, leads the way in the terms

UAE

ond place is testament to the regard in which the degree

CANADA

SINGAPORE

The US, as one might expect of the MBAs birthplace and

of its sheer volume of MBA jobs. Indias presence in sec-

is held in the South Asian nation (Pakistans presence in


this list can be read along the same lines), while the other
three BRIC countries are also present. Naturally, the rapid
growth these nations have experienced calls for the busi-

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SOUTH KOREA

ness expertise that MBAs can bring to the collective table.

CHINA

Elsewhere, we see traditional big hitters in MBA hiring

PERU

assuming their positions in the table: the likes of Japan,


South Korea and Singapore in Asia-Pacific; the UK, Ger-

MEXICO

10

SAUDI ARABIA

11

ITALY

12

opportunities for MBAs.

JAPAN

13

Egypt and Peru might be the more surprising inclusions

RUSSIA

14

EGYPT

15

SPAIN

16

GERMANY

17

UK

18

PAKISTAN

19

KAZAKHSTAN

20

many, Spain and Italy in Europe, and Canada and Mexico


in the Americas. Oil-rich Middle Eastern nations, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also offer plentiful

here. Egypt, however, has enjoyed a surge of MBA hiring


over the past year driven by the financial services sector, while Peru has been something of stronghold in MBA
hiring for the past few years after enjoying a period of
rapid economic growth.

1.3 Compensation by region


MBA salary and bonus levels by region (total compensation)
*all figures are in US dollars, US$
Region

% Change
(13-14)

% Change
(14-15)

2013

2014

2015

US & Canada

$112,700

$128,600

$123,400

+14%

-4%

Latin America

$76,800

$71,400

$54,500

-7%

-24%

$109,000

$112,600

$111,100

+3%

-1%

Western Europe
Eastern Europe

$69,500

$72,700

$62,300

+5%

-14%

Middle East & Africa

$81,900

$70,300

$81,000

-14%

+15%

Asia-Pacific

$88,800

$86,000

$95,200

-3%

+11%

2013

2014

2015

% Change
(13-14)

% Change
(14-15)

$90,000

$97,700

$97,300

+9%

-0.40%

MBA salary levels by region


Region
US & Canada
Latin America

$58,900

$55,500

$46,200

-6%

-17%

Western Europe

$88,800

$90,600

$91,300

+2%

+1%

Eastern Europe

$61,700

$54,900

$53,000

-11%

-3%

Middle East & Africa

$65,300

$57,700

$68,700

-12%

+19%

Asia-Pacific

$68,300

$68,000

$69,200

-0.40%

+2%

2013

2014

2015

% Change
(13-14)

% Change
(14-15)

MBA bonus levels by region


Region
US & Canada

$22,700

$30,900

$26,100

+36%

-16%

Latin America

$17,900

$15,900

$8,300

-11%

-48%

Western Europe

$20,200

$22,000

$19,800

+9%

-10%

Eastern Europe

$7,800

$17,800

$9,200

+128%

-48%

Middle East & Africa

$16,600

$12,600

$12,300

-24%

-2%

Asia-Pacific

$20,500

$18,000

$26,000

-12%

+44%

Sadly, it cannot always be the case that

to bonus levels. Indeed, in terms of

we see unbroken upward trajectories

salary alone, we actually see a marginal

across the board. So it is with the MBA

increase in Western Europe. In both

compensation levels reported this year,

cases, the decline is also only a one-

which in most cases have declined a

year trend, and indeed, the packages

little. In the US & Canada as well as in

on offer are most certainly generous

Western Europe the declines have been

(particularly, as you will read later, if

small, and also seem to be tied largely

one attends a top school).

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Latin America and Eastern Europe have been hit a little harder. In both cases, salary levels stand slightly below their figures in 2013. In the case of the latter, this can again be
explained largely by declining bonus levels the regions decline in salary levels is far less
pronounced. Indeed, it seems a huge increase in bonus levels in 2014 renders the figures
from that year as something of an outlier, so we need to take this with a pinch of salt. There is

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no such qualification to be made in Latin America, which has traditionally been the region in
which salary levels on offer have been among the lowest in the world; 2014/15 has clearly
been a challenging year for the regions employers.

The Asia-Pacific growth story continues unabated


and the regions potential is demonstrably far from exhausted.

Asia-Pacific has remained relatively consistent in terms of salary levels, though improved
bonuses in 2014/15 have seen total compensation packages improve. It is certainly positive
that despite the huge surge in the MBA hiring, employers are still eager to pay a premium for
MBA talent. The Asia-Pacific growth story continues unabated and the regions potential is
demonstrably far from exhausted. Salaries in the Middle East & Africa have recovered after
a small dip last year this is perhaps the region in which one can expect the greatest degree
of volatility, given the relatively small pool of employers.

Top 10 countries for MBA salary


Country of Employer

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Average Salary

Average Bonus

Total

1. New Zealand

$145,000

$10,000

$155,000

2. Switzerland

$131,100

$21,400

$152,500

3. Australia

$124,800

$27,100

$151,900

4. United States

$103,300

$22,400

$125,700

5. United Kingdom

$98,500

$22,600

$121,100

6. Singapore

$95,600

$46,700

$142,300

7. Spain

$93,100

$15,400

$108,500

8. Canada

$92,800

$26,800

$119,600

9. Ireland

$89,400

$15,700

$105,100

10. Germany

$79,700

$8,900

$88,600

1.4 Growth in MBA jobs by industry


Share: MBA jobs by industry 2015

d.

c.
a.
t.

e.
f.

u.

b.

g.

s.

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r.
q.

h.

p.
o.
n.
v.
m. l.

a.

Aerospace / Defense

b.

Construction / Property

c.

Consulting / Professional Services

d.

Consumer Goods

e.

Education

f.

Electronics / High Technology

g.

Share MBA jobs: 0.3%


2014-15 forecast: 0%
2014-15 growth: 8%
2015-16 growth forecast: -3%
Share MBA jobs: 4.1%
2014-15 forecast: 10%
2014-15 growth: 46%
2015-16 growth forecast: 14%

Share MBA jobs: 8.6%


2014-15 forecast: 8%
2014-15 growth: 24%
2015-16 growth forecast: 12%

Share MBA jobs: 1.6%


2014-15 forecast: 5%
2014-15 growth: 33%
2015-16 growth forecast: 8%

Share MBA jobs: 7.4%


2014-15 forecast: 2014-15 growth: 12%
2015-16 growth forecast: 13%
Share MBA jobs: 6.3%
2014-15 forecast: 8%
2014-15 growth: 16%
2015-16 growth forecast: 6%

Energy
Share MBA jobs: 2.7%
2014-15 forecast: 5%
2014-15 growth: 20%
2015-16 growth forecast: 8%

i.

k.

h.

i.

j.

k.

l.

j.

Financial Services / Banking


Share MBA jobs: 18.1%
2014-15 forecast: 5%
2014-15 growth: 9%
2015-16 growth forecast: 5%

IT / Computer Services
Share MBA jobs: 11.3%
2014-15 forecast: 12%
2014-15 growth: 16%
2015-16 growth forecast: 19%

Law
Share MBA jobs: 0.4%
2014-15 forecast: 21%
2014-15 growth: 34%
2015-16 growth forecast: 1%

Manfacturing / Engineering
Share MBA jobs: 7%
2014-15 forecast: 13%
2014-15 growth: 22%
2015-16 growth forecast: 4%

Media / Entertainment & Arts


Share MBA jobs: 0.4%
2014-15 forecast: 2%
2014-15 growth: 11%
2015-16 growth forecast: 4%

m.

Metals / Mining

n.

Pharma/Biotech & Healthcare

Share MBA jobs: 2.3%


2014-15 forecast: 1%
2014-15 growth: 3%
2015-16 growth forecast: 6%
Share MBA jobs: 4.5%
2014-15 forecast: 0%
2014-15 growth: 17%
2015-16 growth forecast: 15%

o.

Public Sector/Govt./Nonprofit

p.

Recruitment / HR services

q.

Retail

r.

Telecoms

s.

Transportation/Distribution

t.

Travel/Leisure/Hospitality

u.

Utilities

v.

Other

Share MBA jobs: 1.7%


2014-15 forecast: 8%
2014-15 growth: 16%
2015-16 growth forecast: -4%
Share MBA jobs: 3.5%
2014-15 forecast: 9%
2014-15 growth: 24%
2015-16 growth forecast: 5%
Share MBA jobs: 2.6%
2014-15 forecast: 4%
2014-15 growth: 7%
2015-16 growth forecast: 7%

Share MBA jobs: 3.4%


2014-15 forecast: 11%
2014-15 growth: 4%
2015-16 growth forecast: 12%

Share MBA jobs: 1.4%


2014-15 forecast: -3%
2014-15 growth: 14%
2015-16 growth forecast: 26%
Share MBA jobs: 6.3%
2014-15 forecast: 1%
2014-15 growth: -10%
2015-16 growth forecast: 31%

Share MBA jobs: 0.5%


2014-15 forecast: 1%
2014-15 growth: 18%
2015-16 growth forecast: 30%
Share MBA jobs: 5.9%
2014-15 forecast: 8%
2014-15 growth: 17%
2015-16 growth forecast: 10%

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Breaking down MBA job growth by industry shows just how good a year its been for MBA hiring. With only two exceptions, we see growth that has outstripped our predictions often by
quite some distance. Many of the biggest figures come from smaller sectors consumer goods
and construction/property, for example. This demonstrates the growing diversity of the degree,
with organizations in more and more sectors looking to leverage those with the business exper-

12

tise afforded by MBA study. QSs annual research into prospective MBA students shows a concomitant rise in the diversity of the applicant pool to match this. One of the biggest surprises
among these rises comes from the pharmaceuticals/biotech & healthcare industry, which has
experienced a slowdown in recent years to the extent where we anticipated no growth this year.
Instead, we see a very healthy 17% increase, with a similar increase predicted for next year.

Growth, however, is not limited to smaller MBA


job sectors. As a consequence of some of the
astounding growth we see elsewhere, consulting/professional services accounts for a
smaller percentage of the worldwide markets
total than in previous years, yet this years
growth of 24% signals that the sector is in
confident shape. In the competitive and entrepreneurial age in which we live, it seems there
is a great call for external business expertise.
Weve also seen confident growth of 9% in the
financial services industry.

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1.5 Salaries by industry (US & Canada and Western Europe)


Average
Salary

Average
Bonus

Average
Salary

Average
Bonus

Aerospace /
Defense

$94,000

$25,000

Media /
Entertainment
& Arts

$66,000

$6,000

Construction /
Property

$92,400

$28,200

$120,700

Metals / Mining

$86,100

$31,400

$117,500

Consulting /
Professional
Services

$87,400

$19,500

$106,900

Pharma /
Biotech &
Healthcare

$97,800

$22,000

$119,800

Consumer
Goods

$67,100

$22,400

$89,400

Public Sector
/ Govt. /
Nonprofit

$95,700

$15,500

$111,200

Education

$83,300

$19,000

$102,300

Recruitment /
HR Services

$81,100

$23,700

$104,800

Electronics
/ High
Technology

$89,900

$18,900

$108,800

Retail

$83,100

$50,000

$133,100

Energy

$80,000

$20,000

$100,000

Telecoms

$50,300

$8,400

$58,700

Financial
Services /
Banking

$99,000

$30,600

$129,500

Transportation
/ Distribution

$91,300

$12,100

$103,400

IT / Computer
Services

$89,600

$32,300

$121,900

Travel / Leisure
/ Hospitality

$87,000

$8,500

$95,400

Law

$165,000

$25,000

$190,000

Utilities

$83,700

$11,000

$94,700

Manufacturing
/ Engineering

$94,400

$14,100

$108,500

Other

$92,600

$15,000

$107,700

Industry Sector

Total

$119,000

Industry Sector

Total

$72,100

13

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14

For our consideration of MBA salaries by

In terms of the more mainstream MBA

industry, we limit ourselves to the mature

professions, while pay packages have

MBA markets of the US & Canada and

never been anything short of generous in

Western Europe. These figures should

the sector, it has been a stellar year for a

make for happy reading, with total com-

resurgent financial services industry, and

pensation comfortably into six figures

only the outliers are rivaling the pay pack-

across the vast majority of industries.

ages it currently offers. Confidence and

Smaller sectors when it comes to MBA

returns are on the up.

jobs, such as law, aerospace/defense,

Consulting has remained fairly level; as

metals/mining and retail tend to throw up

evidenced by the strong growth in jobs

high figures as a result of both the niche,

witnessed by the sector, it is a diversify-

specialized knowledge required as well

ing space in which the big names (which

as the innate lucrativeness of the indus-

offer the highest salaries) are no longer

tries in question. In addition, there is the

the only players in town. The presence

smaller sample size to consider here

of smaller boutique firms must be taken

simply put, these are sectors which very

into account when considering the over-

few MBAs will be targeting.

all average figure though this years


number could hardly leave many with
cause for complaint.
The IT/computer services and the electronics/high tech sectors, between which
there is much overlap, also offer compensation packages at which few would
baulk, with the former not too far behind
financial services and the latter a touch
ahead of consulting. The closeness of
these figures can be taken as further testament, should it be required, of the technology sectors status as the third major
player in MBA hiring.

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2. Long-Term Trends in MBA Jobs and Salaries


2.1 Index of long-term hiring trends

9 1
9 9
0 9 1
9
1 9 1
9
2 9 1
9
3 9 1
9
4 9 1
5 99 1
9
6 9 1
9
7 9 1
9
8 9 2
0
9 0 2
0
0 0 2
0
1 0 2
0
2 0 2
0
3 0 2
4 00 2
0
5 0 2
0
6 0 2
7 00 2
0
8 0 2
0
9 1 2
0 10 2
0
1 1 2
0
2 1 2
0
3 1 2
0
4 1 2
0
5 1 2
6 10
7

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Technology
Finance
Consulting
Industry

This graph maps out long-term trends in MBA hiring, looking at finance, consulting, technology and
industry, to see how they have compared over the past 25 years in terms of growth, relative to previous years. For these purposes we have grouped together aerospace/defense, electronics/high technology, IT/computer services and telecoms as technology and everything else under industry.
One of the most eye-catching trends here

with slight hiccups here and there for

is the rise of the last category. In 2013 it

example, the bursting of the dotcom bub-

pulled into the lead, and we anticipate this

ble had a negative effect just over a decade

lead to grow further in the years to come,

ago though, more recently, the Great Reces-

while growth levels in other sectors ought

sion did not cause as much damage outside

to remain relatively stable. This points, once

of the finance sector.

more, to the diversity of MBA skills (and


indeed, among those taking the degree).
With sustained competitive advantage
becoming ever more elusive across industries, the expertise of MBAs is demanded by
an increasingly diverse range of employers.
All four of our groupings have enjoyed

Average growth since 1990 has stood at


around 15%. We expect this to slow to a
more sustainable level in years to come.
With the impressive growth figures being
reported this year, however, it would also
be wrong to rule out a continuation of
this strident average.

steady upward curves in recent years and


over the larger scale of this exercise, albeit

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2.2 Long-term trends in MBA salary levels


$1

00

,00

$8

0,0

$6

0,0

00

Average MBA
Salary ($)

1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

$73,800
$78,150
$82,250
$73,900
$75,200
$83,250
$85,000
$89,550
$93,250
$95,250
$91,500
$89,650
$92,700
$91,400
$90,930
$94,130
$94,260

9
0
0

4
1
0
0
2

This years figure is up very slightly on 2014s though, perhaps

Europe, the two most mature markets for MBA hiring.

our focus to the US & Canada and Western

MBA salaries, we once again restricted

To map out longer-term trends in

16

00

Year

it would be more accurate to label this as stability rather than growth.


It not the highest figure weve ever reported that came in 2008. It is, however,
an astounding 28% higher than the levels seen in 1999.

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As you can see, there have been dips as

for reasons we hardly need to spell out

well as rises over the 17-year period we

here. We have seen a few fluctuations here

are taking into consideration here. The

and there in the years thereafter, but it

dotcom crash saw lower salaries offered

seems that since 2013 we have returned to

in 2002 and 2003 than in the preceding or

a steady upward curve; this is now the first

following years, and a steady upward tra-

time weve been able to look back at two

jectory was interrupted in 2009 and 2010

consecutive years of growth since 2008.

2.3 Long-term trends in functional roles


Role

2011

2012

2013

2014

Consultant

39%

37%

37%

34%

2015
34%

E-Commerce

10%

8%

9%

10%

10%

Finance - Advisory

29%

26%

28%

22%

23%

Finance - Other

39%

33%

44%

36%

42%

General Management

43%

41%

44%

36%

37%

IT / Technology

26%

24%

21%

25%

20%

Marketing

44%

41%

36%

38%

38%

Operations / Manufacturing

23%

24%

24%

23%

23%

Other Roles

11%

10%

34%

30%

6%

Sales / Business Development

40%

42%

46%

44%

28%

Strategic Planning

42%

40%

19%

17%

44%

Supply Chain / Logistics

23%

25%

9%

7%

18%

17

While much of the discussion around MBA hiring trends revolves around industries, it is also
important to take functional roles into account; function being, of course, one of the three main
forms that an MBA-enabled career change can assume.
Over the five years in our sample, it has

sumably after most companies had already

been into finance roles split between

found who they were looking for at a point

advisory and other which most compa-

in time when the spotlight really began to

nies hire MBAs, as one might expect. Con-

shine on supply chain management. This

sultants and marketers are also consist-

year, however, has seen a resurgence of

ently in high demand.

hiring into supply chain and logistics roles

It should be noted that companies may


choose multiple options for this part of our

perhaps simply due to inevitable need to


renew talent after some years.

survey, given that they may have diverse

The years 2013 and 2014 also saw a decline

requirements to be met by MBA talent. This

in companies looking for strategic planning

also means, however, that this is exercise

professionals, which this year leapt back to

is somewhat open to volatility, given the

its position as the number one functional

ever-shifting requirements of each com-

role offered to MBAs by employers, if we

pany as well as the general mutability of

separate the two finance functions. It may

the business landscape.

be that after a couple of years of relative

We see this evidenced in the demand for


supply chain/logistics professionals, which
declined massively in 2013 and 2014, pre-

stability we are returning to a more complex, unpredictable business (and wider)


landscape. Who better to navigate such a
terrain than an MBA?

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3. US & Canada
26

%
14

10

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3.1 MBA hiring trends

The 26% growth in new MBA job opportunities


in the US & Canada is surely the headline story

Consulting

26%

Finance 17%

of this years QS TopMBA.com Jobs & Salary


Trends Report, far in excess of the 10% growth

Technology & Telecommunications 29%

we anticipated. Recovery has been slow since the

Industry & Non-Professional Services 6%

banking crisis of nearly a decade ago, but with the

Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

36%

US economy proving increasingly muscular (after


weathering the storm rather well, however, things

Canadian telecoms and consulting

look less positive for Canadas economy at the

industries in particular have been

time of writing) it seems things are looking much

strong drivers of growth in MBA jobs.

better for MBA employers.


Growth is spread over a range of industries. The

seems to be in confident shape, and

technology sector is the fastest growing of the

like Canada, the nation has enjoyed

groupings we employ. US tech companies now

a surge in consulting hiring which we

represent some of the worlds most ubiquitous

expect to continue into next year (in

brands both in the business world and the

both nations). The rapid increase in

household. Their appetite for global domination

hiring in the pharmaceuticals space

continues, and with that comes an appetite for

in both nations marks an impressive

MBA talent. We anticipate this to continue next

recovery for this sleeping giant of an

year, albeit at a slightly more sustainable rate. Its

industry in terms of MBA jobs.

not just the US which has seen growth though; the

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The US financial services sector

3.2 Which regions do employers from the US & Canada look to when hiring?

19
100

50

US &
Canada

Latin
America

Western
Europe

Eastern
Europe

Middle East
& Africa

AsiaPacific

99%

22%

35%

24%

19%

32%

US & Canada

Geographical scope of hiring


2014

2015

Global

19%

Global

38%

Local

13%

Local

20%

National

63%

National

32%

Regional

5%

Regional

10%

We have seen a significant shift in terms

These same employers, however, also seem

of the geographical extent of employers

to be looking further afield obviously with

in the US & Canada this year. A notably

a view to expanding globally. With growing

larger proportion of employers are hiring

middle classes around the world - as well

on a global scale this year as compared to

as nations in which relative affluence is

previous years, while the proportion of

the norm - hungry for technology, the

those hiring on a national scale has fallen.

globalization of the supply chain, and

This does not mean that North American

international financial markets remaining

employers are no longer looking to US or

volatile and complex, there is great demand

Canadian talent. Indeed, no other region

for internationally-savvy MBAs.

reports as high a percentage of employers


looking to their own region for new hires.

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20

These graduates may well come from within

latters rapid ascent to the same. Insight

the region, but employers can also see the

into these markets, therefore, is crucial for

benefits in looking further afield. Western

businesses with global aspirations. They

Europe and Asia-Pacific are the most favored

are also the regions (particularly Western

regions unsurprisingly given the formers

Europe) which boast the strongest business

established powerhouse status and the

schools outside of North America.

3.3 Salary trends

US & Canada

Average Salary

Average Bonus

Canada

$92,800

$26,800

United States

$103,300

$22,400

By Region

$99,300

$24,000

Increase
Increase

Salary trends in the US & Canada are

susceptible to global unpredictability. The

positive this year, with both nations seeing

vitality and global dominance of innovative

an increase in compensation (these figures

US MBA employers in the tech space on the

pertain to employers based in the region as

other hand looks like something in which

opposed to the figures in section 1.3 which

the nation can remain confident (as much as

also include those hiring in the region who

one can be confident of anything in this age

are not be based there). Stronger than

of peaks and troughs). In Canada, despite

expected growth, as the US continues to

economic difficulties, it seems that MBA

recover and strengthen, will have played

hiring is in fairly robust shape; resultantly,

its part, with the financial services sector

so are the salaries on offer.

looking tougher, though obviously still

Follow us

Year on Year
Trend

3.4 Top salaries by school


US
Threshold: $110,000

Average Salary,
Class of 2014 (US$)

School

State

Stanford Graduate School of Business

California

$129,600

Harvard Business School

Massachusetts

$125,000

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Pennsylvania

$123,400

University of California, Berkeley (Haas)

California

$121,800

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

Massachusetts

$121,300

University of Chicago (Booth)

Illinois

$120,000

Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Illinois

$119,200

Columbia Business School

New York

$118,700

Dartmouth College (Tuck)

New Hampshire

$117,900

University of Michigan (Ross)

Michigan

$115,300

Duke University (Fuqua)

North Carolina

$114,100

University of Virginia (Darden)

Virginia

$112,300

New York University (Stern)

New York

$112,100

Cornell University (Johnson)

New York

$110,900

University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)

California

$110,300

21

Canada
Threshold: $80,000

Average Salary,
Class of 2014 (US$)

School

State

University of Calgary (Haskayne)

Alberta

$94,300

York University (Schulich)

Ontario

$87,000

University of Ottawa (Telfer)

Ontario

$83,500

Queens University (Smith)

Ontario

$81,500

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4. Western Europe

9%

3%

2%

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4.1 MBA hiring trends

While it does not compare to the astounding

Consulting

growth we see in North America, the figure

0.2%

Finance 3%

reported here by Western European employers is


extremely positive for a region in which growth

Technology & Telecommunications 15%

has been sluggish in recent times. Indeed, given

Industry & Non-Professional Services 34%

the seemingly ever-present economic turmoil

Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

-1%

from which much of region has suffered over


the last seven years, this figure can be read as

It is, however, the industry and non-

extremely reassuring and another indicator of

professional services space in which

the MBAs resilience.

weve seen the strongest growth. It

The regions growth in consulting and finance


has been modest. That said, growth in the UK, as
ever, is driven chiefly by the City. In Switzerland
the financial services sector is also the engine
room of MBA hiring, though levels have remained
flat. Technology & telecommunications hiring, on
the other hand, has shown healthy growth across
Western Europe; in no small part due to the
presence of London and Berlin in the region, two
of the worlds most vibrant tech hubs. Germany in
particular has seen solid growth in the technology
sector (as well as in consulting).
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seems a diverse range of employers


are actively seeking MBA talent to
help navigate these uncertain waters.
We see this evidenced, most notably,
in the huge growth in MBA hiring in
Italys

manufacturing/engineering

sector, a sector which has also grown


significantly, albeit less spectacularly,
in France and Germany.

4.2 Which regions do employers from Western Europe look to when hiring?

23

100

50

US &
Canada

Latin
America

Western
Europe

Eastern
Europe

Middle East
& Africa

AsiaPacific

32%

26%

85%

50%

25%

29%

Western Europe

Geographical scope of hiring


2014

2015

Global

36%

Global

35%

Local

10%

Local

12%

National

34%

National

33%

Regional

20%

Regional

20%

Western

European

employers

have

Though the figure is still significantly higher

traditionally been outward looking. We

than it is for any other regional hiring scope,

see little change this year, with just over a

Western European employers are in fact the

third of employers employing on a global

least inclined towards targeting candidates

scale, and 20% within the region as a

from within their own region. Half of this

whole. The biggest surprise might be that

years sample of responding employers

they are now being outdone in terms of

reported looking to their neighbors in

global-scale hiring by employers in the US

Eastern Europe also, with freedom of

& Canada. The difference is small enough,

movement across the two regions making

however, that it might be fairer to call this

this one of the more feasible examples of

further proof, were it needed, of the MBAs

cross-regional hiring.

status as a global degree.

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24

The US & Canada ranks next, unsurprisingly

next. However, employers from this diverse

given the resonances and high level of trade

region report relatively high figures across

between the two, with Asia-Pacific coming

the geographical board.

4.3 Salary trends


Western Europe

Average Salary

Average Bonus

Belgium

$78,300

$7,300

Denmark

$68,800

$5,600

France

$71,400

$26,400

Germany

$79,700

$8,900

Ireland

$89,400

$15,700

Italy

$63,300

$12,000

Netherlands

$78,300

$16,800

Norway

$157,300

$62,900

Portugal

$50,000

$20,000

Spain

$93,100

$15,400

Switzerland

$131,100

$21,400

United Kingdom

$98,500

$22,600

By Region

$85,900

$19,600

Decrease
Decrease
Decrease
Decrease
Increase
Decrease
Increase
Decrease
Increase
Increase
Increase

We see a mixed story in terms of MBA salary

one would hope to find them, with five of

levels in Western Europe with declines in

the worlds top 10 salary levels by country

Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy

to be found in Western Europe (Norway has

and Portugal offset by increases in Ireland,

been excluded due to the smallness of its

Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

sample size) including Germany, in spite of

As mentioned previously in this report,

Follow us

Year on Year
Trend

its decrease this year.

however, we cannot always expect to see a

The figures on offer in Italy and Portugal

constant upward trend in salary levels. Offers

are perhaps the exceptions, though the

made, it seems, are largely in the region

positive trends in hiring in the former

mean that we can at the very least hope

Spain may also serve as an example of the

for an improvement there. The healthiness

possibility of a more positive narrative in a

of salary levels currently available in

troubled Southern European nation.

25
4.4 Top salaries by school
Threshold: $100,000

Average Salary,
Class of 2014

School

Country

University of St. Gallen

Switzerland

$130,000

Business School Lausanne

Switzerland

$122,000

IMD

Switzerland

$121,500

London Business School

United Kingdom

$118,900

Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University

United Kingdom

$115,000

Mannheim Business School

Germany

$114,500

INSEAD

France

$114,100

EDHEC Business School

France

$111,700

Cass Business School

United Kingdom

$109,400

University of Strathclyde Business School

United Kingdom

$107,000

IESE Business School, University of Navarra

Spain

$103,100

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5. Asia-Pacific

18

13

8%

26
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5.1 MBA hiring trends

It has been another good year for MBA jobs in

Consulting

Asia-Pacific, the standout region in growth terms

35%

Finance 15%

in recent years. Growth in 2014/15 far outstrips


Technology & Telecommunications 10%

our expectations, driven by large increases in


MBA hiring in both India and China. We anticipate

Industry & Non-Professional Services 25%

another strong year in 2015/16.


Part of Asia-Pacifics strength comes from the
breadth of opportunities in this huge and diverse
region. The tech sector has been the key driver
of growth in recent times, and this has been
another good year, particularly in China, India
and, to a slightly lesser extent, South Korea. The
finance sector has also enjoyed healthy growth,
and not just in the Tiger economies. Indeed,
hiring in Singapore has remained relatively level.
It is once again China and India that are driving
growth in this respect, and even the Pakistani
financial services sector (naturally, from a lower
level) has seen growth.
MBA hiring in industry and non-professional
services, following the global trend, is also on the
up. Australia joins the regions two BRIC economies
in driving growth this time. The standout story,
Follow us

Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

-1%

however, is the massive rise in


hiring in consulting and professional
services an indication of AsiaPacifics growing maturity as an MBA
jobs market. While India, Australia,
Pakistan and South Korea have all
enjoyed increases, recruiters in China
can take most of the credit for this
incredible rise. Western MBAs looking
for opportunities in this space would
do well to look east.
Outside

of

employers
Malaysia

the

bigger

markets,

in

Vietnam

and

also

report

very

healthy levels of hiring.

5.2 Which regions do employers from Asia-Pacific look to when hiring?

27

100

50

Asia-Pacific

US &
Canada

Latin
America

Western
Europe

Eastern
Europe

Middle East
& Africa

AsiaPacific

34%

18%

29%

22%

23%

91%

Speaking of the opportunities for those

the interest of fewer than one in five

looking east, it seems that employers in Asia-

recruiters. It is Western recruits, however,

Pacific are fairly keen to bring in expertise

who are clearly the most in-demand.

from outside the region to offer a different


perspective, particularly those from key
trading partners in the US & Canada. Western
Europeans are also in high demand. Other
regions are being targeted to a lesser extent,
with only Latin American recruits registering

The figure posted for in-region hiring is


towards the lower end of the scale, though
this is certainly not an indication that
employers are not looking for new recruits
within Asia-Pacific.

5.3 Salary trends


In terms of MBA salary levels, the trend

same for India, in which the volume of MBA

is largely upwards in Asia-Pacific, with

jobs and the popularity of the degree sees

employers from New Zealand and Australia

salary levels which may be somewhat less

proving particularly generous. China can

appealing for the expat. China is, in fact,

couple impressive growth with improved

reporting higher salary levels than Hong Kong

salary levels, though we cannot say the

this year (that our survey is self-selecting

Follow us

28

must be borne in mind when considering

MBA markets the levels of hiring we see in

findings such as this). Employers based in

Vietnam and Malaysia, in particular, are an

Singapore, whose strength is based on its

indication of growth among this grouping

strong financial services sector, however,

which may well mean that a few years down

continue to pay out some of the worlds

the line well be looking at much improved

best salaries. Salary levels are, as would

figures. Decreases in MBA salary levels in

be expected, lower across the other ASEAN

Japan and South Korea are perhaps the only

nations, though these are, of course, younger

negative finding to report here.

Asia-Pacific

Average Salary

Average Bonus

$124,800

$28,400

China

$70,200

$30,600

Hong Kong

$76,700

$22,500

India

$22,700

$3,700

Indonesia

$50,000

$15,000

Japan

$46,900

$18,300

Malaysia

$38,900

$18,600

New Zealand

$145,000

$10,000

Pakistan

$39,000

$4,000

Philippines

$38,300

$8,300

Singapore

$101,500

$46,000

South Korea

$60,000

$40,000

Taiwan

$41,200

$20,600

Thailand

$28,000

$400

Vietnam

$20,000

$4,000

By Region

$68,300

$25,600

Australia

Follow us

Year on Year
Trend
Increase
Increase
Increase
Decrease
Decrease
Increase
Increase
Increase
Increase
Decrease
Increase
Increase
-

5.4 Top salaries by school


Asia
Threshold: $50,000
Average Salary,
Class of 2014

School

Country

INSEAD - Singapore

Singapore

$114,100

The University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

$94,400

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Hong Kong

$85,600

Peking University

China

$72,100

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

China

$67,200

NUS Business School

Singapore

$62,400

Nanyang Business School, Singapore

Singapore

$53,000

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

India

$53,900

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

$51,400

29

Australia
Threshold: $50,000

School

Country

Average Salary,
Class of 2014

University of New South Wales

Australia

$139,900

The University of Adelaide Business School

Australia

$130,000

Melbourne Business School

Australia

$120,300

La Trobe Business School

Australia

$108,300

Monash University

Australia

$85,000

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17

6. Eastern Europe
5%

4%

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6.1 MBA hiring trends

As anticipated, it has been a slightly slower year


Consulting

for MBA hiring in Eastern Europe, following last

4%

years 10% increase. Employers in the region

Finance 2%

have, however, indicated that they intend to

Technology & Telecommunications 40%

increase hiring levels over 2015/16, so we may

Industry & Non-Professional Services 14%

well be discussing a significantly larger figure next


Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

year. Nevertheless, we must still take this with a


pinch of salt as growth does not always live up to
expectations; indeed, the 10% growth reported
last year was below expectations though the
anticipated figure for that year of 34% was, shall
we say, on the more optimistic side.

MBA employers in Kazakhstan (we


include Central Asia in our Eastern
Europe grouping), on the other
hand,

have

reported

increased

hiring, largely across industry & non-

The growth we have seen this year has been

professional services sectors. In this,

driven by the technology sector, while growth

the education and construction/

levels in industry & non-professional services are

property industries have had a

also at a healthy level. Russian tech employers in

good year in particular.

particular have enjoyed a good year though MBA


employers in the country as a whole are hiring at
lower levels than in 2013/14. Again, we expect a
recovery next year.

Follow us

-25%

6.2 Which regions do employers from Eastern Europe look to when hiring?

31
100

50

Eastern Europe

US &
Canada

Latin
America

Western
Europe

Eastern
Europe

Middle East
& Africa

AsiaPacific

15%

9%

29%

96%

12%

8%

Eastern European MBA employers like

in hiring Western Europeans than vice versa.

Eastern European talent, it seems. They

Employers key focus at this point in time,

are certainly less interested in hiring

we can assume, is on doing business within

MBAs from outside their home region than

the region, for which hires from ones own

those based anywhere else in the world.

home country or those nearby are perhaps

Naturally, Western Europe is the exception,

best suited, for reasons of language and

though it is notable that Eastern European

culture as well as business knowledge.

employers are significantly less interested

6.3 Salary trends


Russia, it appears, has not had a stellar year,

Russias salary levels, however, remain

with a decrease in average salary levels

the second-highest in the region, behind

compounding the slowdown in MBA hiring.

Western

Perhaps we will see a recovery next year, if

which remuneration is at a very healthy

demand increases in line with expectations.

level (albeit based on a relatively small

European-adjacent

Poland,

in

Follow us

sample of employers). Kazakh employers

However, we must factor in a relatively

report higher salaries, consolidating a good

lower cost of living into this equation, as

year for the Central Asian nation.

well as the more insular nature of Eastern

Salary levels in the region overall are the

32

lowest reported outside of Latin America.


Average Salary

Average Bonus

Year on Year
Trend

Estonia

$29,000

$6,700

Greece

$38,000

$5,600

Kazakhstan

$50,000

$3,000

Lithuania

$39,100

$5,600

Poland

$89,400

$8,900

Romania

$33,500

$3,400

Russia

$67,600

$13,200

Ukraine

$30,000

$3,000

By Region

$54,000

$9,900

Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Increase
Increase
Increase
Increase
Decrease
Decrease
Increase

Russia, it appears, has not had a stellar year,

Salary levels in the region overall are the

with a decrease in average salary levels

lowest reported outside of Latin America.

compounding the slowdown in MBA hiring.

However, we must factor in a relatively

Perhaps we will see a recovery next year, if

lower cost of living into this equation, as

demand increases in line with expectations.

well as the more insular nature of Eastern

Russias salary levels, however, remain

European employers.

the second-highest in the region, behind


Western European-adjacent Poland, in which
remuneration is at a very healthy level
(albeit based on a relatively small sample of
employers). Kazakh employers report higher
salaries, consolidating a good year for the
Central Asian nation.

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European employers.

*salary data for schools in this region not provided.

7. Latin America

14

7%

1%

33

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7.1 MBA hiring trends

It has not been a strong year for MBA hiring in


Consulting

Latin America, which has grown by a mere 1%

33%

far short of the 7% anticipated (growth that would

Finance 18%

have matched that which we saw in 2013/14).

Technology & Telecommunications -19%

Of course, as with any story, there are nuances.

Industry & Non-Professional Services 14%

MBA job opportunities in consulting and finance


Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

have both increased in number, with rises spread


across the continent. In line with the global trend,
we also see a healthy rise in MBA hiring related to
industry & non-professional services. Technology,
on the other hand, has had a weaker year.
Brazil remains one of the worlds biggest MBA
jobs markets, with hiring largely centering on
industry & non-professional services. It has,
however, not enjoyed the best of years, with its
huge travel/leisure/hospitality industry seeming
to weaken in particular (now that the World Cup is
a thing of the past and its hosting of the Olympics
is fast approaching, perhaps the strongest growth

1%

growth across the financial services,


consulting, and industry & nonprofessional services sectors.
Peru, on the back of strong recent
economic growth, is also one of the
worlds biggest MBA jobs markets.
Again,
the

hiring

is

largely

within

industry/non-professional

services sector, though 2014/15


saw increases to hiring in financial
services and consulting.

in this industry is behind us). Mexico, on the


other hand, has had a better year, with healthy

Follow us

7.2 Which regions do employers from Latin America look to when hiring?

34

100

50

Latin America

US &
Canada

Latin
America

Western
Europe

Eastern
Europe

Middle East
& Africa

AsiaPacific

21%

98%

15%

12%

10%

10%

Latin America is one of the worlds more

to the US & Canada when searching for new

insular regions when it comes to MBA hiring,

recruits, but beyond that the search seems

which we can ascribe to linguistic issues,

to be largely trained on recruits from within

as well as those of business culture, in this

Latin America. The percentage of employers

relatively young MBA market. Employers in

who look for talent within their own region

the region are most inclined to look north

is second only to the US & Canada.

7.3 Salary trends


MBA salary levels are lower in Latin America

As with hiring levels, MBA salaries in Brazil

than they are anywhere else in the world,

have taken something of a hit this year a

though the significantly lower cost of living

similar fate to fellow BRIC nation, Russia.

as compared to Western Europe and the

While Mexico and Peru have enjoyed better

US & Canada must be taken into account,

years, salary levels in both have declined.

as well as the youth of the MBA jobs

MBA employers in Argentina on the other

market in this region.

hand the preferred base for international


financial services and consulting firms in the

Follow us

region are offering improved packages,

Argentinas neighbor, Chile, has seen a

as are those in the smaller markets of

reduction, though it can still boast among

Uruguay, Venezuela, Panama and Colombia.

the highest salaries in the region.

Latin America

Year on Year
Trend

Average Salary

Average Bonus

Argentina

$52,200

$10,100

Brazil

$35,700

$4,300

Chile

$52,800

$8,200

Colombia

$68,200

$21,800

Costa Rica

$38,000

$3,000

Dominican Republic

$22,500

$4,000

Ecuador

$42,400

$4,200

Mexico

$44,000

$9,600

Panama

$37,400

$4,100

Paraguay

$17,000

$500

Peru

$46,200

$7,800

Uruguay

$72,000

Venezuela

$39,100

$4,800

By Region

$44,600

$7,500

Increase
Decrease

35

Decrease
Increase

Decrease
Decrease
Increase
Decrease
Increase
Increase

7.4 Top salaries by school


Threshold: $40,000

School

Country

Average Salary,
Class of 2014

EGADE Business School - Tecnolgico de Monterrey

Mexico

$50,000

CENTRUM Catlica Graduate Business School

Peru

$46,000

IPADE Business School, Universidad Panamericana

Mexico

$42,000

INCAE Business School

Costa Rica

$41,500

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8. Middle East & Africa


12

%
8%
3%

36

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8.1 MBA hiring trends

We have seen reasonable growth in the Middle

Consulting

26%

East & Africa, driven by consulting and industry


& non-professional services, though it has not
quite come at a rate to match our expectations.
This has been something of a regular theme in

Finance 2%
Technology & Telecommunications 0.1%
Industry & Non-Professional Services 29%

the region in recent years; estimates for next year


are, however, conservative.

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

-8%

It is a young MBA market, though in the oil-rich

MBA hiring levels in the Emeriti

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, and in

financial services sector, on the other

Egypt, which has enjoyed a huge surge in hiring

hand, has gone down in what has

in the financial services, it also can lay claim to

been a slower year for the country

three nations in which employers reported some

as a whole. Saudi Arabia has fared

of the worlds highest hiring levels in 2014/15. In

better, with hiring in consulting,

the case of Egypt, further growth is expected in

finance and law playing their parts

a financial services sector which seems to have

in an overall increase, in addition

weathered years of political turmoil quite well

to a smaller percentage rise in a

and is clearly benefiting from relative stability.

large retail sector.

8.2 Which regions do employers from the Middle East & Africa look to when hiring?

37

100

50

Middle East & Africa

US &
Canada

Latin
America

Western
Europe

Eastern
Europe

Middle East
& Africa

AsiaPacific

36%

27%

39%

32%

88%

42%

In the Middle East & Africa, we find the

most keen to look. As well as geographical

worlds most outward-looking employers

proximity, high levels of trade and cultural

business education is relatively young in the

resonances, experience gleaned in emerging

region so this is driven by necessity as much

economies a little further down the line

as anything. Even the region to which the

will be directly applicable to the regions

fewest employers look Latin America is

employers. Western Europe edges a little

on the radar of over a quarter of employers

ahead of the US & Canada, while Eastern

in the region. It is to the east, towards Asia-

Europe registers the interest of around a

Pacific, that employers in the region are

third of employers.

8.3 Salary trends


The salary levels reported to us in this young

big three, in terms of hiring growth, have

market vary greatly, from a mere $17,000 in

all reported decreases in salary levels,

Palestinian territories to an astronomical

giving something of a negative edge to the

$205,200 in South Africa (from a relatively

positive story, though the levels on offer in

small sample, it should be noted). The

UAE are certainly credible. Africas biggest

Follow us

economy, Nigeria, has also seen a decline

identify the norm. There are certainly clear

in MBA salary levels. It is, of course, harder

indications here, however, that employers in

to map out concrete trends in immature

the Middle East & Africa are willing to pay a

markets, in which we cannot yet confidently

premium for MBA talent.

38
Middle East & Africa

Average Salary

Average Bonus

Egypt

$30,000

$5,000

Ghana

$50,000

$6,000

Iraq

$25,000

$4,000

Nigeria

$35,000

$15,000

Palestinian Territories

$17,000

$1,500

Saudi Arabia

$30,000

South Africa

$205,200

$22,400

United Arab Emirates

$66,300

$4,000

By Region

$71,000

$7,300

Year on Year
Trend
Decrease
Increase
Decrease
Decrease
Decrease

8.4 Top salaries by school


Threshold: $60,000

Follow us

Average Salary,
Class of 2014

School

Country

Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town

South Africa

$87,000

University of Stellenbosch Business School

South Africa

$64,500

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9. What Employers Look For

9.1 Desired skills vs. satisfaction

IMPORTANCE

SATISFACTION

39

2.5

2.0

1.5

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There is a reason - or maybe we should say reasons that employers hire MBAs, and that is the
diverse range of skills that they offer. As part of our survey, we ask employers to specify how
important each of a range of skills are to them, and how satisfied they are that their MBA hires
are in possession of them.

40

Generally, we see that MBAs meet or are

There is also a concerning gap between

close to meeting expectations across a

expectations and reality when it comes to

healthy spread of skills. In technical skills

strategic thinking something one would

such as finance, e-business and marketing,

hope MBAs would be in possession of. With

we see a match between the ascribed impor-

close to half of our respondent pool hiring

tance and satisfaction. Employers are also

into strategic planning roles, it is worrying

satisfied with the global outlook of MBAs,

that they feel that MBAs do not possess a

with international awareness and language

satisfactory level of strategic thought. With

skills both registering respectable scores.

competitive advantage a more and more

One area in which we find that MBAs fall


short of employer expectations is those
which we would call soft skills namely
leadership, communication and interpersonal skills. Could schools be doing more to
engender these? Or are employers expectations over the extent to which such skills

difficult thing to maintain, this is certainly


an area that schools and candidates alike
must seek to address. The same can be
said, though to a lesser extent, for entrepreneurship. Again a difficult thing to teach,
but not something for which one would
want to see a low score.

can be taught unrealistic? Or might it be a

To end on a positive note, however, it is

third option that MBAs are more inclined

refreshing to see that MBAs score well in

towards developing more quantifiable tech-

terms of CSR. In an age when the effects of

nical skills rather than harder-to-judge soft

not paying adequate attention to the wider

skills? Whichever it is, there is clearly an

impact of a business activities are all too

issue here which needs to be addressed,

clear, this is certainly heartening.

particularly when it is a set of skills on which


employers place such a high premium.

One area in which we find that MBAs fall short of employer


expectations is those which we would call soft skills
namely leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.

Follow us

11

9.2 Preferred years of work experience


%

among employers 2011-2015

22

9%

20

5%
%

19

39

37

7%

20

8%

40
%

22

2015
2014
2013

6%

41

19
%

28

6%

30

5%

28

39

37

>8+ YEARS
>5-8 YEARS

>3-5 YEARS

2012
2011

6%

8%

>1-3 YEARS
0-1 YEARS

7%

Mapping the trend over a few years shows a

behind them are more likely to be found in

steady increase in the years of experience

possession of them.

for which employers are looking. In 2011,


35% of employers sought employees with
three years experience or less; in 2015, this
figure has fallen to 28%. On the other hand,
those with at least five years under their
belts were targeted by 27% of employers
in 2011; the figure in 2015 stands at 33%.

We might also note that the insecurity that


characterized the start of the decade may
well have led employers to look for hires
who were not tainted by the events of the
end of previous 5-10 years. Employees
with less experience, it might also be noted
if a little cynically may also be offered

Perhaps we can connect this desire

lower salary and bonus packages. As we

for more experience with some of the

reach relative (the word relative must be

perceived shortcomings in terms of MBA

emphasized) stability midway through the

skills we outline in the section above.

current decade, employers can now afford

Things like strategic thinking and soft skills

to turn to more experienced candidates

may be better learned on the job; ergo,

on both counts.

employees with more years of experience

Follow us

9.3 Functional roles offered


We have discussed MBA job trends largely in

34%

terms of industries throughout this report (in

E-Commerce

10%

line with the remit of this report). But, we also

Finance - Advisory

23%

Finance - Other

42%

General Management

37%

MBAs, to get a better idea of the purposes for

IT / Technology

20%

which MBAs are being recruited.

Marketing

38%

Operations / Manufacturing

23%

Despite the diversity of industries into

Sales & Development

28%

which MBAs are being hired, we can see here

Strategic Planning

44%

that what you might call traditional roles

Supply Chain / Logistics

18%

predominate. Financial roles register highly,


with 23% of firms hiring MBAs into advisory
roles and 42% in another financial capacity.
Around a third hire MBAs into consultancy
roles

and

slightly

more

into

general

management and marketing. The role into


which the greatest proportion of MBAs are
being hired, however, is strategic planning (a
rise after a couple of years of reduced hiring
into this role, as you can see in the second
chapter of this report).
This is as you might expect; these are
exactly the functions for which MBAs are
being trained. Supply chain/logistics roles
(though this does mark an increase after

employers are looking to hire


MBAs over a fairly even spread
of traditional job roles

Follow us

Consultant

ask employers into which functions they hire

42

Role

Other

6%

a couple of years of lower levels of hiring


into the function) and IT/technology roles
are slightly more niche, though around one
in five employers seek both, with slightly
more looking for operations/manufacturing
specialists. Hiring into e-commerce roles is
significantly lower, but this may be because
the fact that business takes place online is
simply a reality across job functions in 2015;
the need for specialists is reduced, therefore.
The main thing we can take from this is
that employers are looking to hire MBAs
over a fairly even spread of traditional job
roles, with no function showing any clear
signs of being in, or falling out of, fashion.
Opportunities exist for specialists across a
healthy range of job roles.

10. Who Responded to the QS Employer Survey?


10.1 Regional breakdown of MBA employer respondents
8%

Middle East & Africa


Asia-Pacific

32%

Latin America

23%

US & Canada

11%

Western Europe

21%

Eastern Europe

6%

Total Responses

3946

43

10.2 Employer response by size 2015


2013

2014

2015

Between 50 and 250 staff

21%

16%

18%

Less than 50 staff

21%

18%

18%

Over 250 staff

58%

66%

64%

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10.3 Employer response by industry 2013-2015

Follow us

10.4 Sample of responding employers by region 2015

Consulting

44
Finance

Industry
& Non-Professional
Services

Technology

Follow us

Asia

Europe

US & Canada

Latin America

Mu Sigma Inc

PwC

Accenture

Nathan Associates

Partners in
Performance

Deloitte

Sage

EY (Ernst & Young)

Edanz Group Ltd.

KPMG

Deloitte

Simon-Kucher &
Partners

Nexia TS

Bain & Company

Dillon Consulting
Limited

Everis Group

Citibank

Capgemini

JP Morgan Chase

Bancolombia

Standard Chartered
Bank

HSBC

Bank of America Merrill


Lynch

BBVA

Goldman Sachs

Rothschild Group

BlackRock

Citibank

United Overseas Bank

Barclays

Scotiabank

Compaa Internacional
de Seguros

Dow Chemical

Ocado

Rolls Royce

Adidas

Louis Vuitton

Shell

Huffington Post

Coca-Cola

Toshiba

Pfizer

BP America

Minera Chinalco Per

Johnson & Johnson

Amazon

Siemens

Unilever

Samsung

Cisco

Wolfram Research

British Telecom

IBM

Ericsson

Elemica

Atos

LG

IBM

Amazon

Nextel

Acer

Dell

Home Depot

Arrow Electronics

QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd


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