The latest crop of business-school graduates – including MBAs or grads of discipline-specific master degrees in management and accounting – are in demand by company recruiters, according to a recent global survey released by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

In responses to the survey from more than 628 companies in 51 countries, nearly nine of 10 recruiters say they plan to hire recent MBA graduates this year.

Of those hiring MBA graduates this year, 89 per cent expect to increase or maintain their new-hire roster, up from 79 per cent last year, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 59 per cent of companies, including those in manufacturing and start-ups, plan to hire recent master in management graduates this year, up from 50 per cent last year, according to Reston, Va.-based GMAC.

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Demand for master of accounting graduates is holding steady, with 42 per cent of employers expecting to hire these specialists this year, up from 39 per cent last year. On a regional basis, companies in Asia-Pacific and Latin America report higher demand for accounting master graduates than those in Europe and the United States, according to GMAC.

Meanwhile, recruiters report growing interest in graduates with specialty business degrees, such as data analytics, information systems and supply chain management, beyond the traditional MBA. Master in data analytics graduates are especially sought after by employers in consulting, finance and accounting and health care, according to the survey.

Salaries for MBA graduates continue to climb, with 52 per cent of employers planning to increase starting salaries for new MBA hires at or above inflation this year. According to the survey, the median starting salary for a new MBA hired by a U.S. company this year is $110,000 (U.S.), up from $105,000.

The survey was heavily weighted to the United States (64 per cent of respondents) and Latin America (11 per cent), but 4 per cent of respondents were from Canada.

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