MBAs are still hot: 69% of grads say companies have tried to poach them in the past year

BY Sydney LakeJune 07, 2022, 1:53 PM
City College of New York (CCNY) recognized graduates of the class of 2022 at its 169th commencement ceremony, in June 2022. (Photo by Erik McGregor—LightRocket/Getty Images)

It’s an employee’s job market as the so-called Great Resignation is still very much underway. Workers are leaving their current gigs for higher pay, stronger career growth, and better work-life balance, according to previous Fortune reporting.

In fact, some employers are so desperate to hire that they’re attempting to poach candidates—and MBA graduates are catching their eye. Within the past year, 69% of MBA holders in the U.S., Great Britain, and Australia were approached by another company trying to recruit them, according to research conducted by Victoria University Online. The Australian university offers online degrees, certificates, and courses in business, finance, financial planning, health care, and teaching.

And not only are these MBA grads being offered new jobs, they’re taking them. Among the people surveyed who were offered a new position, 50% of them accepted, Madeline Weirman, a project manager with Victoria University, tells Fortune

“Our findings show that employers need to do more if they want to retain their MBA-holding employees,” Weirman says. “Almost one in three MBA holders said they plan on leaving their job within the next six months, so employers should consider things like higher salaries, better benefits, and growth paths—and opportunities for professional development.”

Why MBAs make strong job candidates

Hiring managers both seek out and respect job candidates who have earned an MBA. Victoria University’s research shows that 34% of hiring managers were more likely to hire an MBA grad than someone without the degree—and 46% were more likely to negotiate their hiring contracts. 

In 2021, MBA grads made $115,000 starting base salaries, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey. Some industries—including consulting and tech—offer starting pay packages that climb into the $200,000 to $400,000 range, as Fortune has previously reported.

During the past year, however, Victoria University’s research shows that 23% of MBA-holding tech professionals left the industry, making it the most commonly poached field. More than 75% of MBA grads in the tech sector reported that a company had tried to poach them, the research shows.

“The diverse skill set of an employee with an MBA degree provides MBA holders more freedom to join a different industry,” Weirman says. “One of the most overlooked benefits of MBA programs is that they also sharpen your soft skills and provide many attributes that can come in handy when growing your career. In fact, our findings show that, on average, MBA holders feel that their soft skills have been more valuable than their hard skills.”

See how the schools you’re considering fared in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in psychology programs, public health programsbusiness analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.