Two recently released reports — the 2018 MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance Fall Recruiter Benchmarking Report and Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 — highlight the strong employment outcomes for graduates of programs like Darden’s full-time MBA and Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA). Together, they reinforce the strong case for the transformative and world-class experience of a Darden education.

MBA Salaries Reach the Highest on Record

After surveying more than 1,200 global employers, GMAC’s report emphasized a trend that aligns with the record-breaking base starting salaries secured by Darden’s Class of 2018. After inflation adjustments, MBA graduates received the highest ever median annual base starting salary in 2019. At $115,000, MBAs’ median salaries are now more than double those of new bachelor’s degree hires ($55,000). The average base salary for Darden’s Class of 2018 was $127,767, and early data show the Class of 2019 is trending several percent higher.

The 32 percent of graduates in Darden’s Class of 2018 who entered the consulting industry received a median salary of $147,000, a starting salary that is $12,000 higher than GMAC’s reported median starting salary of MBAs entering consulting nationwide.

Internships and On-Campus Interviews Are Top Recruiting Methods

Of the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance’s (MBA CSEA) 30 responding employers, 82 percent identify internship programs as their primary recruiting method — good news for the 100 percent of students in Darden’s Classes of 2019 and 2020 who received a summer internship. In terms of average percentage of hires by recruiting method, 41 percent of employers cited internship programs, followed by job postings at 21 percent and on-campus interviews at 20 percent.

With nearly 1,300 jobs posted annually in the Darden Career Development Center’s (CDC) jobs portal and 2,000 on-Grounds interviews coordinated by CDC employer engagement and recruiting, Darden is well-prepared to address global recruitment trends and preferences.

Startups Increasingly Likely to Hire MBA Talent

GMAC’s survey showed that startups expect a large increase in hiring rates of MBAs — 45 percent hired an MBA in 2018 while 62 percent expect to hire MBAs in 2019. Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation prepares students to succeed in entrepreneurial roles through a wealth of startup- and venture capital-minded programs like the Startup Academy, i.Lab at UVA Incubator, Darden Connect and more.

Hiring rates of larger companies stayed consistent with previous years, with 2019 seeing more than 90 percent of Fortune Global 100, 500, and for-profit, public companies planning to employ recent MBA grads.

Data Analytics Graduates In-Demand Globally

Consistent across both MBA CSEA and GMAC findings was an increased interest in recruiting graduates of programs such as Darden’s MSBA degree. Approximately half of recruiters surveyed by both MBA CSEA and GMAC reported hiring from data analytics specialized master’s programs. Nearly two-thirds of corporate recruiters in the Asia-Pacific and European regions plan to hire from these data-intensive programs, and hiring demand of these graduates is strongest in technology, energy and consulting employers, GMAC found.

Similarly, GMAC’s survey demonstrated that companies ranging from small to large, startup to Fortune Global 100 and across every major industry project growth in hiring of master’s of data analytics graduates. Consulting firms and startups are both projecting 20 percent growth.

To learn more about corporate recruiting and MBA hiring trends, read the full MBA CSEA benchmarking report and the GMAC recruiters survey.