width=200A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) has found that MBA graduate starting salaries in the US are not being cut, despite the global economic downturn. Noting the findings, GMAC, the organization responsible for the GMAT entrance test for business schools pointed out that salary cuts would have been a more likely outcome, considering the economic climate.
The GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, which displayed statistical data on the average expected starting salary for US MBA graduates explained that an increased demand for leadership to help them weather the economic crisis and become even stronger organizations might explain why employers will not cut base salaries for recent business school graduates, especially MBAs, in 2010.
Salaries remain high, availability of jobs low
However, while the report signifies good news for MBA graduates who manage to find work, overall recruitment levels are still waning. As Lamia Walker, Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at GMAC explained to TopMBA.com, our surveys show that despite the optimism around recovering GDP, fewer job offers are being made to MBA graduates in their graduating year, and they are receiving those job offers later in the year.
We are dealing with a number of economic forces, not least a hard biting recession, and unemployment is still high, especially in Europe and the US, Walker continued. At the same time, economic forecasts are improving and GDP appears to be rising and in positive figures in all the ten leading economies. However, this year we still saw a slow start for recruiters. Many commentators have said that this is looking like a 'jobless recovery'.
MBA earning potential almost doubles undergraduate
The report also made note of the continuing correlation between starting salaries for MBA graduates, and starting salaries for undergraduates. Consistent with previous years, the average starting salary employers planned to extend to recent MBA graduates in 2010 nearly doubled the average starting salary offered to undergraduate students, the survey's report notes.
Students and employers still value the MBA and the business skills it brings with the new employee, Walker explained. Employers offer people with MBAs significantly higher salaries than those with just undergraduate education. This premium, which we continue to see year after year, reflects the high value companies place on the skills and abilities people develop in business school.

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