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WORLD BUSINESS

More jobs, more money for 2006 MBAs

Graduates to enjoy boom year, says survey

By Peter Walker for CNN

story.champagne.gi.jpg
It could be celebration time for new MBA graduates.

FACT BOX

FT's Executive MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. Hong Kong UST, China
3. London Business School, UK
4. Instituto de Empresa, Spain
5. Fuqua, Duke, U.S.
6. Chicago GSB, U.S.
7. Columbia, U.S.
8. Kellogg, U.S.
9. Stern, NY, U.S.
10. Cass, City University, UK
Source: Financial Times 2006

FACT BOX

EMBA SNAPSHOT

Executives taking the top EMBA courses in the U.S., Europe and Asia have average salaries of around $130,000 to $200,000.

A typical EMBA student is likely to be aged in the early 30s, with 6-10 years of working experience.

A top EMBA course can cost $100,000. Customized courses start at a few thousand dollars.

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Schools

(CNN) -- MBA students graduating this year are set to get more job offers and higher average salaries than their peers of 12 months ago, according to a newly-published survey of business schools.

Rewards have increased the most for those entering the consulting, financial services and consumer product industries, according the mainly US-based poll by the MBA Career Services Council (MBA CSC), an association for MBA career services professionals and recruiters.

Results from a survey of 60 business schools -- 58 of them in the United States and one each in France and Canada -- conducted earlier this month found that 98% had seen increased recruiting activity during the fall and winter recruiting period compared to the same time a year before.

Several months ahead of graduation, the schools said that more than 50% of their students had already received at least one job offer.

These were also generally worth more money: 70% reported an increase in base salaries from last year, while half anticipated students to get bigger signing bonuses on average than before.

"As the (US) economy continues to improve, so does MBA recruiting," said Jeff Rice, head of career services at Ohio State's Fisher College of Business and president of the MBA CSC.

"The MBA CSC is a tightly-knit professional association, and the results of this survey confirm the many exchanges of communication among our members over the past several months indicating the strong return of MBA recruiters to our campuses."

Strong sectors

The consulting, financial services, and consumer products industries, traditional recruiters of MBA graduates and thus seen as bellwether sectors, looked especially positive, the survey found.

While schools reported increased recruitment activities from a series of industries, these three areas were particularly strong -- for example, 69% of schools said consulting firms had been recruiting more intensively, with an equivalent figure of 81% for financial services. The same industries were also most widely expected to be offering higher salaries than in 2005.

The healthcare industry was also mentioned as having an exceptionally strong recruiting presence this year.

For international students taking MBAs in the United States with the intention of getting subsequent work there, prospects were much the same as last year, according to a majority of respondents.

However, a significant number of schools -- 42% -- said they had seen an increase in the number of employers willing to hire international students for positions outside of the United States.

Of the 60 schools surveyed, 52% have been ranked among the world's top 25 business school within the past two years.

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