Demand for MBA Graduates Increases

Evening and Executive MBA graduates and students.

Thinking about going back to school for your MBA? This year might be the time to take the plunge. A study from Michigan State University finds employers of all sizes recruiting MBA graduates at levels not seen in 15 years.

In late 2014, hiring for MBA graduates showed the largest gain since 2007, with a 38 percent increase projected for the 2014-15 academic year. Workers with other types of college degrees were also heavily recruited.

Growing Demand

According to the study, factors driving the increase in hiring includes company growth, as well as turnover and retirement of current employees. Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA Programs Assistant Dean Leslie Petty says the study matches what she’s witnessed firsthand with students.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand from employers for MBA graduates who have the knowledge and skills that come from a top-notch program combined with years of work experience,” Petty says. “In fact, 80 to 85 percent of our Evening and Executive MBA students earn a promotion within their organization or a new position elsewhere by the time they graduate from the program.”

Prepared MBA Graduates

Leslie Petty from the Wisconsin School of Business, who helps place MBA graduates.
Leslie Petty, Assistant Dean of the Evening and Executive MBA programs.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers two MBA programs for working professionals through the Wisconsin School of Business: the Evening MBA and the Executive MBA. The WSB also offers a full-time MBA program.

Graduates of the Evening and Executive MBA programs speak of the innovative learning, the team environment and the connection to larger Wisconsin School of Business alumni network.

“The Wisconsin MBA appealed to me because of its location and reputation … and, maybe even more importantly, the access to the alumni network, the program resources, and the UW-Madison connections throughout the business community,” says Terri Leigh Rhody (MBA ’09), a healthcare marketer. “From a relationship standpoint, it is invaluable to have those intricate networks available to you.”

Team Learning

Another advantage of the Evening and Executive MBA program is the connections students make while attending the program as a cohort — something not available with online programs.

“The lock-step approach at Wisconsin is important to me because I wanted an MBA program that emphasized long-term relationship building and teamwork,” says Eric Dehn (MBA ’11), a director at Thrivent Financial in De Pere, Wisconsin. “We establish teams right away, which provided an immediate anchor to support your learning. The team-based atmosphere is essential to the learning process, in part because teamwork is essential to success outside of the classroom.”

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