Business school graduates on the job hunt in 2013 will face a more optimistic hiring landscape than they did in 2012—3 in 4 employers recently surveyed have plans to hire MBAs in 2013, up from 69% who hired MBA candidates this year. Employer demand for new hires with master’s degrees in accounting, management, finance, and other business fields is also expected to grow.
What will likely differentiate you from other job seekers will be the skills and work experience you bring along with your education and degree. So be sure to add these resolutions to your list for 2013:
Resolution #1: Focus on Sharpening Skills
Employers anticipate the job market for next year’s graduates will be highly competitive, with high demand for experienced specialists and managers. Thus, the importance of skills you bring to a future firm cannot be understated. More than half of all companies we surveyed in November plan to grow their businesses in 2013 by expanding their customer base (56%), launching new products and services (53%), and expanding geographically (37%). To meet these goals, they will seek new graduate business hires who can solve problems, innovate, manage change, and demonstrate critical thinking skills. These skills are also needed to succeed on the GMAT exam with Integrated Reasoning and in your graduate program. Visit the mba.com store for business prep products that can help put you on the path to academic and career success.
Resolution #2: Seek Out Internships Early to Gain Work Experience
One European manufacturer suggested, “Grads should focus on obtaining internships within companies [as] early as possible in order to build contacts for potential jobs.” There is no shortage of internships globally—72% of companies will offer internships to graduate business students and in 2013 and 65% of companies said they plan to offer internships to MBA candidates, with 13% intending to increase the number of spots available to MBAs. See how internships paid off for B-school students in the blog post Internships: Not Just for Undergrads.
Resolution # 3: Network, Network, Network
Employee referrals remain companies’ #1 tool for recruiting recent business graduates. Start checking your school’s social media even before you get to campus to establish connections with classmates, professors, mentors, advisors, project partners, and alumni—you never know where your post-degree job will come from.
Resolution #4: Attend Recruiting Events on Campus
Nearly all (82%) the employers said they actively recruit graduate business school students directly from universities—so as soon as you get settled into your classes, sign up for recruiting events offered by your career services office. Investigate career paths that interest you and discover what career opportunities different industries offer. As one employer noted earlier this year, students should be “knowledgeable about the industries where they might want to work and have clearly articulated career goals.”
Not sure where to start? The Career Leader® self-assessment tool available in the mba.com store can help you define your career interests and plan your next job search steps.
Resolution #5: Stretch Your Goals
Keep an open mind about the type of industry, specific job function, or location where you may work in the future. Employers from every region are looking to place grads in jobs around the globe in some capacity to help meet their 2013 goals, which can only increase your odds of landing an offer.
Have a happy new year!