News: Business schools see surge in demand for human skills

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Business schools see surge in demand for human skills

Despite economic uncertainties, a new survey by GMAC reveals that employers anticipate effects from inflation and recession on hiring, yet maintain optimism regarding opportunities for business graduates
Business schools see surge in demand for human skills

A recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reveals a surge in employer confidence towards business schools (GMEs) and their ability to prepare graduates for success. This positive outlook spans consulting, finance, and technology sectors, translating to optimistic hiring projections for 2024.

Despite the rapid rise of AI, employers still value "human" skills – problem-solving and strategic thinking top the list, both now and in the future. Notably, only 26% see AI as a crucial skill for current graduates. However, AI's importance is expected to rise significantly in five years.

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GMAC CEO, Joy Jones, highlights the need for future leaders to leverage technology while possessing the human understanding to navigate change. Business schools, she says, are well-positioned to develop graduates with this crucial blend of skills.

Employers increasingly value skills acquired through GME programs, particularly in managing remote and hybrid workforces. This sentiment is most pronounced in leading companies and sectors that have likely undergone significant remote-work transitions post-pandemic.

While appreciating remote work skills, employers remain divided on online programs. Two-thirds still believe in-person programs provide stronger technical and leadership skills. Interestingly, U.S. employers, previously sceptical of online degrees, are showing signs of warming up.

Given the lingering uncertainty of the global economic outlook, more than half of employers (across industries and regions) reported major or moderate influence of inflation and recession on hiring but remain optimistic about employment opportunities for business graduates. 

Consulting, along with finance and accounting sectors, are projected to hire more MBA graduates while data and business analytics hiring are expected to expand the most in 2024. 

Regionally, planned hiring expansion is most conservative in the United States and the technology sector, whereas employers in Asia report the highest intended hiring across GME degree types. Employers in major markets in Asia, as well as Western Europe, also demonstrated significant growth in international hiring compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2018.

Corporate Recruiters Survey offers insights on skill demand, hiring trends, and perceptions of MBA graduates. This year's survey, conducted by GMAC, EFMD, and MBA CSEA, included 931 recruiters and hiring managers from 38 countries.

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Topics: Business, #Hiring, #Artificial Intelligence

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