Boosting your career options is probably your top priority when you sign up for an MBA program. The program is almost as grueling as it is prestigious, and you will need to invest significant time and money if you want to complete it, so seeing the career light at the end of the tunnel is genuinely motivating.
But perhaps it’s a good option to start your journey by looking at the kind of career options you are likely to have after completing the course. Gaining an MBA will certainly improve your pay regardless of where you are based, but seeking an opportunity abroad is about more than money, it is about experience.
So it makes sense to analyse the results of the annual Corporate Recruiters Survey carried out by the Graduate Management Admission Council. In their 2015 report these were the most likely industries to hire MBA :
All the employers in the survey were likely to expand their businesses over the coming years and were looking for more MBA grads to join them than ever before. The median starting salary for an MBA grad in the United States is $100,000 and many of the employer’s (31%) say they are likely to increase the wages for MBAs at the rate of inflation or above it this year.
56% of the employers contacted in the survey said they had an internship program for MBAs and 85% of those interns were offered full-time jobs at the end of the internship.
So, the job market for MBAs seems resilient and is actually expanding despite the global economic environment. But what sort of careers could you expect after an international MBA?
One of the most enticing benefits of studying abroad is a chance to gain some experience working there too. Millions of students from the country leave every single year and seek out opportunities on foreign shores. The UK, US and Australia have always been the most popular option, but recently graduates have been more keen on expanding their horizons and going to frontier markets or less popular developed countries. Many look for jobs in Germany, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and denmark.
There surely is a shift in preferences for recent MBA grads looking for jobs abroad. Many are shunning developed markets to gain more experience and deal with bigger challenges in countries that haven’t been fully explored in an economic sense yet. dubai, Brazil and China are increasingly popular with recent MBAs . This could be because the opportunities are better in many of these countries as the economy develops faster, or it could simply be an issue of immigration. european and American policies on international migrants have shifted dramatically since the ‘08 crisis and the refugee crisis in europe. GMAC found that less than 23% of employers in europe had plans to hire foreign MBA grads, the proportion was much higher in the U.S., but limited H1B visas have put a cap on the number of recent grads who get through.
That’s not to say you should try to move to these locations, the job market is still relatively open for people with high skills and considering the impact a talented foreign labour market can have on a country’s economy . Almost every country on the planet has a special immigration route reserved for highly skilled and well educated migrants, and the MBA program is well regarded everywhere.
Indian and foreign companies understand the value of hiring a global workforce and the cultural benefits of having a diverse group of MBA grads as part of the team. Indian companies like Wipro and Infosys offer their employees a chance to work abroad for a while just to gain experience and the chances are higher if the employee has an international MBA.
The GMAc Recruiters Survey from 2015 found that almost all the major firms were looking to hire MBA and most of them were keen on hiring foreign nationals. The companies that were much more likely to hire international MBA grads were also much more likely to be huge multinationals. The larger companies had more diverse operations and were able to get a more global workforce involved.
There were some minor concerns, such as the expenses, legal paperwork, country-level visa requirements and future uncertainty, but most employers were optimistic about the future, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
Marcelo Barros, author of The International Advantage, understands the issues faced by large global firms, but suggests that companies are willing to overlook regulatory issues when they want an applicant really badly. When there is less domestic supply for technical talent companies look to hire foreigners with the right skill set and are also willing to pay a premium to hire these individuals to plug the skill gap in their organization.
His recommendation to MBA grads and those looking to complete the program abroad is simple – invest in yourself and work the international job network some remarkably good opportunities. Communication skills are a desired trait amongst international firms, so those who can speak English along with a foreign language fluently and have a way with words are likely to be considered. Gaining an MBA from a top b school is likely to improve your chances even more.
The rest, as always, comes down to personal preferences. You may have family in Thailand, or want to live in new Zealand or are attracted by the cost of living in Poland. Moving to a foreign country is always a deeply personal choice, but having an international MBA greatly improves your chances in the long run.