MBA graduates, take heart -- you are wanted! According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)'s Year-End employer Poll, the outlook is great for MBA graduates in 2019.

The 2018 Year-End Employer Poll Report, which examines employers' hiring outcomes from the prior year, suggests employers' 2019 hiring plans are similar to their 2018 outcomes.

Of the 350 employers surveyed, about 78 percent of employers plan to hire MBAs in 2019, compared with 77 percent in 2018. Many of them were interested in general MBA graduates, but some specified specialized programs, too, like Master of Data Analytics (41 percent) and Master in Management (37 percent). 

Pay is on the uptick, too. GMAC learned that most employers will increase the starting base salaries of new business school hires in 2019 at or above the rate of inflation compared with the base salaries offered to new hires last year. About half of companies seeking to hire data analytics grads say they will do that.

According to a recent article in Poets & Quants, Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC senior director of research and author of the report, said, “Companies are always looking for talent to assist them in meeting their organizational goals, and with a tight labor market in the United States, it is not surprising that salaries are keeping up with and surpassing the rate of inflation." He added, "This is especially true among companies seeking out data analytics talent.”

More small companies plan to increase their 2019 recruitment compared to 2018 -- an increase of 10 percent to 44 percent. While the number of large companies planning to make MBA hires -- 94 percent -- is still a lot higher than the number of small companies planning to make MBA hires -- 50 percent -- those looking to work at smaller companies shouldn't have a problem. 

The degree overall is still highly regarded. 86 percent of responding employers say they value employees with an MBA, with large employers and companies in the US rating them most highly. Also, the fields of healthcare, manufacturing, and technology continue to rate the MBA highly.