Oct 11, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

While MBA grads may think the three letters after their name are an automatic golden ticket for high-level employment, they still need to show a desirable skill set—one that not everyone has.

A recent survey by the Financial Times reveals the top skills and attributes that employers of MBA graduates want to see.

The top five? The ability to work with a wide variety of people, time management and the ability to prioritize, understanding digital impact on business, the ability to build, sustain, and expand a network of people, and the ability to solve complex problems.

The survey found that one-third of employers struggled to find MBA graduates with the right combination of skills.

Here’s an interesting twist. Take a look at the least important skills, according to recruiters: specialized marketing skills, complex statistical skills, environmental management, specialized programming skills, and specialized financial skills.

The trick for MBA programs? Convincing students to take the required courses that give them the least important skills—but important to know in the field—and pushing them to expand their horizons by embracing opportunities that allow them to broaden their skill set.

In an article in the Financial Times, many employers told the Financial Times that MBA qualifications were not their priority—what mattered was the person doing the work and that person’s outlook and willingness to adapt.

Your takeaway as an MBA student? Study hard, try new things, and don’t be afraid to be your best self. Your future employer will thank you.



Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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