International MBA Survey 2020: mapping MBA graduate career trajectories

Almost two thirds of MBA graduates have found themselves in their dream role within just six months of completing an MBA programme from an AMBA-accredited Business School, new research reveals.

The study, polling 752 current MBA students and 2,110 MBA graduates as part of AMBA & BGA’s International MBA Survey, finds that just under nine out of 10 graduates (88%) agree that they had gained substantially more skills to help them do business better as a result of completing the MBA; and 81% agree that the skills they learned during their MBA have helped them be more mentally resilient.

Almost three quarters (74%) believe they have been able to develop all the business-related skills they wanted as a result of completing the qualification.

Key findings

  • The largest proportions of MBA graduates find the role they want within six months of completing an MBA. Significantly, almost two thirds of all participants said they were either in the job they wanted before starting their MBA, while studying, or within six months of completing the qualification.
  • The most popular reasons for completing an MBA are, ‘to acquire more skills and knowledge about the business world’ (cited by 70% of graduate survey respondents); ‘to expand my area of expertise’ (67%); and ‘to get a broader understanding of how business should be managed’ (50%).
  • 71% of graduates were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the impact their MBA has had on their careers to date.
  • 68% of MBA graduates see themselves as being more confident on completion of their MBA; and 62% perceived themselves to be better at solving problems. A further 58% thought they were better prepared to operate in highly competitive environments; and 56% believe themselves to be better at dealing with people in a professional capacity.
  • Recent graduates are more concerned with ethical business, compared to the MBAs of the 1990s and pre-1990s. Among those that graduated less than a year before completing the survey, 21% said they had completed an MBA to learn about developing a sustainable business, and 13% said they had completed the MBA to learn how to develop an ethically sound business. The equivalent figures among those who graduated 21 or more years ago are 7% and 6%, respectively.

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