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GMAC Survey: B-School Alums Often End Up in Unexpected Jobs

According to GMAC’s newly released Alumni Perspectives Survey, business school grads are happy with their careers overall, but their degrees often take them down paths they hadn’t anticipated.

In fact, 52 percent of alumni surveyed reported working in jobs or industries that they’d had no experience in when they entered business school. Meanwhile, two out of every five said they were working in jobs or industries they’d never even considered before business school.

The results are based on responses from 14,651 business school graduates who were surveyed in the fall of 2016. Altogether, the participants held jobs in a total of 46 different countries at the time of the survey.


Overall, the findings of the survey reflect B-school grads’ bright job prospects. Eight in ten participants were employed by some kind of organization, and 11 percent had their own businesses.

And they weren’t just in any jobs – they were in jobs they liked. A full 88 percent reported that they were satisfied with their jobs and employers.

Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the vast majority of participants rated their business degrees as worthwhile investments. Ninety-five percent said their degrees were a good value, and 92 percent would still do a business degree given the chance to go back and change their decision.

Participants in the survey said they’d gotten several different things out of B-school. Ninety-three percent said they’d found their education personally rewarding, 91 percent professionally rewarding. Meanwhile, 76 percent found their degrees financially rewarding.

There was also widespread sentiment that B-school had provided solid preparation for alums’ chosen professions. Eight-five percent said their degrees had prepared them for their careers, 86 percent for leadership positions. And 82 percent said their degrees has raised their earning power.

The survey also asked alumni about their income. As you’d expect, alums’ salaries varied widely based on what positions the alums held.

Business school graduates in entry-level positions reported earning an average of $75,513. Those in C-suite positions, meanwhile, had an average salary of $440,122.

Taken together, the findings of the survey suggest that people with graduate management degrees are doing quite well. On the whole, they have jobs they like, and they’re financially comfortable.

Moreover, business degrees seem to often open up new career paths, including ones that alums’ hadn’t previously considered. Besides preparing you for your chosen career, then, it appears that B-school can also prepare you for careers you hadn’t even anticipated as possible before.