Graduates who hold a master's degree will find an encouraging job market in 2012, new research shows.
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, nearly three-quarters of businesses plan to hire MBAs, up from 58 percent in 2011.
In addition, the percentage of companies expecting to increase the number of positions available for new management graduates was the greatest for those with an MBA.
Signs are also positive for those with other types of graduate degrees. The study found that 59 percent of businesses are expecting to hire job candidates with a specialized master's degree, up from 38 percent last year, and 51 percent are looking to add master's in management candidates, up from 36 percent a year ago.
Rebecca Estrada, the survey's research manager, said the study suggests 2012 may be the year that companies ramp up their hiring overall.
"For the past few years, companies have been pushing to improve performance and productivity, expand the customer base, and launch new products, while at the same time reducing costs and overcoming economic challenges," Estrada said. "At some point, companies have to up their hiring to meet their new goals."
Of the companies planning to hire MBAs, 32 percent are planning to increase base salaries, the research shows. About a quarter of companies planning to hire graduates with a master's in management or a specialized master’s in business expect to increase the annual base salary for new hires this year.
There also will be plenty of opportunities for those looking to beef up their résumé with an internship, the research shows.
Nearly 70 percent of the companies surveyed plan to offer paid internships to those with an MBA, with 22 percent increasing the number of internships offered.
The research was based on surveys of 229 hiring managers at 216 companies worldwide.
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.