QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2014/15

Thursday, October 09, 2014 at 9am

Employers forecast 12% growth in MBA demand in 2015.


The 2014 Global Employer Survey, conducted between March and July last year, presents an unrivalled overview of the recruitment market worldwide. Complete responses were received from a total of 35,000 respondents of which 5,669 have actively recruited MBAs over a three-year period.
The 2014-15 QS Topmba.com Jobs & Salary Trends Report is used to determine which industries and geographies to pursue as part of your MBA job search, and to help negotiate an optimum compensation package.
Find out:

  • Key MBA recruiting trends
  • MBA salary levels by region and industry
  • Key skills MBA employers are looking for
  • Long-term trends in MBA jobs and salaries
  • Predictions for 2015

Key findings:
Recruiting Trends by region
NORTH AMERICA – across North America MBA demand has jumped 10% in 2014, in line with last year’s forecast. As confidence in economic recovery continues, we are seeing renewed demand for MBA graduates from globally oriented and local employers.


WESTERN EUROPE - The story in Western Europe shows zero net growth in MBA demand in 2014. Growth in demand in Switzerland (15%), Germany (9%), Belgium (9%), France (6%) and the UK (5%) has buoyed the region. Northern European MBA demand has been offset by continued declines in Southern Europe, especially in Italy (-27%) and Spain (-1%).  However there is some good news - growth across Europe is forecast to accelerate in 2015, with Italian and Spanish employers leading the way with a projected 15% and 7% growth respectively in demand in 2015.


CENTRAL EUROPE - Central European employers reported a respectable 10% growth in 2014, which is further boosted by global companies expanding operations in Central Europe, with Russia and Kazakhstan reporting 19% and 18% growth in MBA demand respectively. There is a growing appetite for Western educated MBAs to return home after their MBA to local/regional employers.
ASIA – Following several boom years, demand for MBAs in Asia has settled at a sustainable rate of 11%.  The MBA has been embraced by Asian employers in recent years, particularly in India and China, where demand is growing in consulting and professional services, manufacturing, IT/computer services, finance and micro-finance. Since 2011, India has been vying with the USA to be the largest MBA job market and there is no sign of this trend abating with growth forecast at 8% for 2015.


MIDDLE EAST - MBA demand has stabilised to 2% in 2014 Growth has centered on the recovery in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Parts of Africa are reporting optimism for 2015 MBA demand in sectors including energy, mining, consulting and finance. Demand is forecast to jump by 12% in 2015.


LATIN AMERICA - MBA demand in Latin America has been more prolific in recent years amongst local employers and the trend is continuing, albeit at a more sustainable rate of 7% following 10% growth in 2013. Employers in the region are utilising MBAs as a key talent pool as companies battle to internationalize across the region. Brazil, Argentina and Mexico continue to be the engines of MBA growth in the region.


Key MBA Salary Trends


  • North America - total compensation increased by 15% to $128,600 ($112,200), with salaries of $97,700 and bonus of $30,900
  • Western Europe - total compensation in Western Europe grew by 3% to $112,600 ($109,100)
  • Eastern Europe - total compensation is $72,700, up 6%
  • Asia Pacific - total compensation fell by 2% to $86,000; MBA salaries in the region remained flat at $68,000 with bonuses being cut
  • Latin America and Middle East - compensation in Latin America is at $71,400, and Middle East, at $70,300, both slightly down in 2014, compared to last year


    Top paying sectors
    Metals & Mining - the highest paying sector in 2014 among employers in Europe and North America offering an average MBA salary of $134,250 ($139,000)
    Energy – this sector has seen a surge in employment demand in 2014, jumping into the No. 2 spot for average salaries on offer, at $107,000
    Pharmaceuticals – dominated by multinationals, pharmaceuticals have dropped from the top spot in 2012 to No. 3 in 2014, with an average MBA salary of $99,200 ($100,300).
    Construction/ Property – coming in at No. 4 with average salaries of $98,350 ($97,200)
    Financial Services – with an average salary of $95,050, financial services ranked
    No. 5 overall, although bonuses in this sector are traditionally high, with total compensation often exceeding $200,000.
    High Tech/Electronics – the boom in demand in high tech and electronics companies raised the average salary to $94,950, placing the sector sixth overall
    Consulting – Global strategy consulting firms are offering salaries between US$110,000 and $160,000 in Europe and the USA, but there are a growing number of small and niche consulting firms recruiting locally, resulting in an average reported salary of $88,250 ($89,150) across the sector
    The lowest average MBA salaries are offered in retail, utilities, law, transportation, travel & hospitality and the public sector, all below $80,000 per year.
    Key Employer Requirements

  • Business school graduates are still not meeting expectations in terms of their soft skills including communication, interpersonal and strategic thinking skills, which are highly sought-after
  • More MBA employers are recruiting on a pan-regional or global basis, rather than on a purely domestic basis
  • 29% of employer respondents prefer to hire MBAs with more than five years of work experience in 2014, compared to just 24% in 2013
  • Employers are broadly satisfied with the technical skills acquired by MBA students, irrespective of which business schools employers’ target
  • Recruiters strongly agree that screening for language skillsandinter-cultural communication skills is an important part of the hiring process for international MBAs


    Click here to download the report.

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