MBA CAREER SERVICES COUNCIL STANDARDS FOR REPORTING MBA EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Section A: General Questions Questions 1-8 Collecting Data/Counting Students Questions 9-23 Compensation Questions 24-35
A. GENERAL QUESTIONS:
1. Our school has done a great job in preparing MBA employment statistics for a number of years. Why should we now adopt the MBA CSC Employment Reporting Standards? The Standards were developed and adopted as a result of a large number of MBA career management professionals requesting the development of commonly used (and understood) definitions and standards to enable consistent communication with our constituents (students, prospective students, alumni and employers and the media). This was the number one “hot button” issue during the MBA CSC‟s formation and it would be unprofessional for us to ignore this issue. 2. How much effort should I make to get employment and salary information from graduates? The short answer: as much effort as it takes to get responses from 100 percent of graduates (preferably) or a minimum of 80 percent of graduates. Some schools have explicit expectations of the career services staff on this issue and those schools usually attain a very high percentage. Some persons suggest it is unethical to stop pursuing information to avoid learning about and reporting low salaries. 3. Will the MBA CSC require audits of our Employment Reports? Audits are not required at this time. However, audits are clearly a possibility in the future as the MBA CSC further develops its relationship with other professional organizations and as the importance of professionally prepared employment reports continues to be a significant issue in higher education. 4. We recently received a request to complete a survey on MBA employment experience. There was a question “What percentage of the total graduating class had accepted a job or were in employment after three months? Since the Standards do not measure this statistic, how should I respond to this question (or to other questions asking about statistics we do not track)?
We recommend that you respond according to the Standards, which includes the percentage of the number of “Students Seeking Employment” who were employed after three months, and provide appropriate footnotes explaining your response. The sooner we all begin to consistently and publicly comply with the Standards, the sooner the various “questioners” out there will start to climb on board. 5. How can I ensure the validity of another school’s numbers published on its website? We assume that MBA career services directors are reporting statistics with accuracy and integrity. If you have a concern with another school‟s numbers, contact that school‟s MBA career management director or dean and discuss your concerns. 6. Will the Standards Committee provide a template for a web-based employment report? The Standards Committee has taken your question under advisement and this service is currently being developed. Stay tuned to the MBA CSC web site for more details. 7. Can you give me some guidelines for counting the number of recruiters? How should we count multiple divisions of a company, which recruit separately? The most recent version of the Standards (Revised March 26, 1999) eliminated the need to count employers. A more meaningful measure of a MBA career management office is reflected in Attachment 3., PRIMARY SOURCE OF FULL-TIME JOB ACCEPTANCES. 8. Has the Standards Committee adopted a definition of a start-up? No. B. COLLECTING DATA/COUNTING STUDENTS: 9. We have several MBA programs. Do I include all students from each program in our report? Attachment 1.a. places all the cards on the table and is the basis for the rest of the report. Therefore, all graduates should be included in Attachment 1.a. The rest of the statistical report will focus only on full-time MBA graduates. If you feel that your school has enough persons in another student category (say, part-time MBA or JD/MBA) to justify a separate report, we encourage you to create separate reports for these populations. (Standards: Attachment 1.a.) 10. Our school has multiple graduation dates. Can you help me understand this business of reporting Offers and Acceptances By Graduation, Within Three Months after Graduation, etc.? Let‟s say that there are ten graduates (three in August 1998, three in December 1998, and four in May 1999). All ten graduates were seeking employment. The three August graduates found jobs in September 1998 (After Graduation and Before Three Months After Graduation); the three December grads all found jobs in November 1998 (By Graduation), three of the four June grads were a little slow and accepted jobs during September 1999 (More Than Three Months After Graduation), and the last person still had not reported to you as of September 30, 1999 (the cutoff date for collecting statistics). By Graduation After Graduation and Before Three Months After Graduation More Than Three Months After Graduation 3 grads (30 percent) 3 grads (30 percent) 3 grads (30 percent)
Have Not Reported Accepting a Job The four categories must add up to 100 11. What can be counted and reported at three months post-graduation versus September 30? “Three months following graduation” and “September 30” are two different concepts. September 30 is the date to cease collecting employment information and to prepare a final Employment Report covering the 12 months ending in the previous June. If your school has credible information from 100 percent of its job-seeking graduates prior to September 30 (or if you have less than a 100 percent response and believe that you are not going to receive any additional information) you may publish your final Employment Report at an earlier date. Three months following graduation is simply a time period for measuring graduates‟ experience relative to receiving job offers and accepting job offers. Three months following graduation is not a point in time to submit an Employment Report of any kind unless you choose to do so for your own information (Standards: Paragraph B.2, B.3 and B.4). 12. Our school has multiple graduation dates. For the 1999 report, where do I include students who graduated during months other than the traditional May graduation date? Include all MBAs who graduated during the 12 months ending June 30, 1999 in your 1999 report. (Standards: Paragraph A.5.a.) 13. If a student graduates in August 1999, is that person included in statistics for 1998/1999 or 1999/2000? That person is included in your 2000 report since he graduated during the twelve months ending in June 2000. 14. Why can’t we include graduates who are starting their own business in the “Seeking Employment” category? Two of the Standards‟ objectives are to measure the job search performance of your graduates and the effectiveness of the career office in assisting their graduates in the employment search. The Standards Committee fully discussed the pros and cons of this issue and determined that persons starting their own businesses are not seeking employment in a „typical‟ job-seeking mode and therefore should be included in the “Not Seeking” category. However, the Standards do not preclude you from making a footnote about how many of your “Not Seeking Employment” graduates started their own businesses. Graduates going to work for a start-up company should be included in the SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category. 15. At our school, a number of joint degree students and those starting their own companies use our office and we provide services to these students. Yet, according to the Standards, we should not count the joint degree students and we should count those students starting their own businesses as NOT SEEKING. This doesn’t give us “credit” for our efforts and what can be done? Both groups of students are included in the report to the extent that you count them in Attachment 1.a. (The Graduating Class). When the standards were developed, reviewed, and approved, there was agreement that the MBA CSC wanted to measure the “employment process experience” of MBA students only. If you have a statistically significant population of joint-degree students, there is nothing to preclude your preparing a separate employment report for that population. 1 grad (10 percent)
Students who start their own businesses, do not seek nor receive traditional job offers (and thus are outside the employment process experience we are measuring) and they should be excluded from the SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category. 16. How do we count students who entered the program full-time, but went down to part-time in the last semester? What about the part-time student who ends up in full-time status? The Standards Committee has not defined guidelines on this issue. However, the challenge is for you to make a good faith determination of a student‟s status and assign the student to the appropriate category for reporting purposes. Several directors have indicated that if a student was essentially full-time for the majority of the MBA program, they counted that student as full-time. 17. I understand that “sponsored students” should not be included in the employment report. Can you comment on this? Footnote 2. On Attachment 1.a (The Graduating Class) may help you. Company-sponsored students should be in the NOT SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category if their “studies were financially sponsored by their employers and are returning to those employers or who were employed while a student and will continue working for that employer.” This means that they are not in a traditional employment process, which is what we are trying to measure. However, if a sponsored student elects to say goodbye to his/her sponsoring employer and seeks/accepts a job offer upon graduation (he/she does not return to the sponsoring employer), that student should be counted as SEEKING EMPLOYMENT. 18. How do I handle “MIA graduates whom we know are “Seeking Employment” but from whom we have no offer information available? My dean told me it wasn’t good for my career to be “too honest.” What do I do? We encourage all MBA career management professionals to hang in there and take the high road. I assume your question relates to Attachment 1.a., 1.b., 2.a. and 2.b. The answer is simple: When you KNOW that a graduate is seeking employment, report that student in the SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category. For those in the SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category who have not reported having received an offer (the MIAs), report them in the HAVE NOT REPORTED RECEIVING AN OFFER category. There is no other way to handle this. 19. Is it possible to have a different base at graduation than at three-months following graduation? For example, what if a student reports that he/she SEEKING EMPLOYMENT but has NOT YET RECEIVED AN OFFER, and the student then disappears and we really don’t know his/her offer/acceptance status. Can I then consider that graduate as NOT SEEKING EMPLOYMENT? The “base” does not change. The student remains in the SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category. It is the last credible information you have; we cannot assume that he/she is not seeking employment. Attachment 2.a. of the Standards addresses this with the category "HAVE NOT REPORTED RECEIVING AN OFFER". 20. What do I do if I cannot locate international students? I assume this question relates to completing Attachment 1.a. The response applies to all graduates. If you know, from a reliable source, a person‟s status, that is, whether he was seeking a job or not seeking a job, count that student in the appropriate category. If you really have no information whatsoever, count that person in the No Information Available category. Of course, we all have the challenge of developing
processes for more thoroughly capturing the information from our graduates. The bottom line is that the Standards ask for an accounting of all MBA graduates, including those for whom we have no employment data whatsoever. 21. If I know a graduate has accepted a job, but I don’t have any salary data, can I still count him/her as employed? Absolutely! Actually, there is no report in the standards for reporting “employed graduates.” There are reports for reporting the timeliness of the offers that graduates receive and for the timeliness of when graduates accepted an offer. (Standards: Attachments 2.a. and 2.b.) If in good faith you have knowledge that a graduate has accepted employment then you should feel comfortable in including them appropriately in your final Employment Report. 22. With respect to counting graduates in Functions and in Industries, there are many fuzzy areas. How do I handle this? One way is to call the student and seek more information on which to make your decision. In some cases, you will have to make a decision based on limited information and your best professional judgment. The Standards recognize that schools may have different headings that are more appropriate to that school‟s experience. The footnotes on Attachments 4 and 5 should be of help to you: The subsets within the major categories are illustrative examples and schools should further define the subsets as appropriate for their needs. 23. If a graduate is starting a business and may not have a salary, how do I count them? Employed? Not Seeking? Section A. ACCOUNTING FOR ALL GRADUATES, subsection 4(d) addresses your question. This graduate should be in the NOT SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category. This assumes the graduate is starting the business, and is not working for start-up business.
C. COMPENSATION: 24. Has the Standards Committee discussed how to report stock options? How do I measure and report stock options? Is the Standards Committee looking at how to report variable compensation such as stock options, tuition reimbursement, and other “non-standard” forms of compensation? The Standards Committee has addressed this. Stock options and some other forms of compensation are covered in the Standards Attachment 8a. The value of these items is excluded from final Employment Reports but schools are free to report the number or percent of job-seeking students receiving stock options, or relocation and moving expenses. 25. How should we treat tuition reimbursement when it vests over a couple of years? According to the Standards, tuition reimbursement is not included in your final Employment Report. It is an employee benefit and not included under the definitions of base salary, guaranteed compensation or signing bonus. 26. What dollar amount should we use when a graduate indicates a range under “Other Guaranteed Compensation”?
The operative word is “Guaranteed”. Contact the student and ask for more information and then use a good faith number. If you cannot contact the graduate or if you choose to not contact him/her, use the bottom of the range, since that is what is guaranteed. Anything above the bottom of the range is variable and by definition is not guaranteed. 27. Does SIGNING BONUS include lump sums for things like moving expenses? Signing bonus amounts should not include items like moving expenses. A signing bonus should be just that: a bonus for signing with that particular company. Moving expense items are defined as a separate benefit that at this time the Standards do not require that you report. 28. What do I do when my dean wants to report a “total compensation” figure as a graduate’s salary? Consider this as an opportunity to explain to your dean that the MBA Career Services Council has taken great pains to develop professional standards, which serve our constituents‟ needs. It‟s an excellent opportunity to educate your dean on the MBA CSC and our commitment to being the best possible professionals we can be. 29. If I don’t get salary information from the graduate or the company, but I know for a fact that the company pays all new hires the same, can I use that salary for this graduate? If you are convinced that your information is credible and reliable, the answer is “Yes.” 30. In our school, we have a large percentage of graduates accepting jobs in start-up companies and their salary information may skew our salary figures. Do the Standards allow clarification to identify the percentage of graduates within each industry/function who have accepted employment with start-ups? The answer is “no”. The Standards do not per se allow clarification to identify the percentage of graduates within each industry/function who have accepted employment with start-ups. You should follow the Standards‟ instructions for completing the Compensation Report section of your employment statistics. However, the Standards do not preclude your school from elaborating in a footnote, the background of your statistics. 31. How do I handle an international student who accepts a three-month post-graduate internship at reduced pay? I assume that this student was not seeking a full-time MBA-level job in the traditional sense, and if so, he or she should be counted as NOT SEEKING EMPLOYMENT on Attachment 1.a. This applies to all students, regardless of country of origin. Of course, if the student was seeking employment and he/she just could not find anything and took the internship as a last resort, he/she should have been included in the SEEKING EMPLOYMENT category but not in the ACCEPTED EMPLOYMENT category and therefore their salary would not be included in your compensation report. 32. I do not feel that we should count the salary of those graduates who accept employment after three months following graduation because I believe it will be low and skew the data. How should I handle this?
The Standards Committee understands your concern, but it does not agree with you. Please follow the standards. Salary information of all students who have accepted a full-time job and who have reported a salary should be used. You have the challenge of getting your students to accept jobs earlier. 33. I am confused on how to handle the required footnote regarding graduates who provided salary information (Section F.14.). Can you help me? First: Count the number of full-time students who have reported that they accepted a job (this is the total of columns B, C, and D on Attachment 2.b (TIMING OF JOB ACCEPTANCES). This is the denominator. Second: Count the number of these “job-accepting graduates” for whom you have useable salary information. This is the numerator. Divide the numerator by the denominator. Use this percentage in the footnote.
34. How do I handle salary information expressed in a foreign currency? Convert the information to U. S. dollars as requested in the Standards. 35. How do we report compensation for graduates who accepted overseas positions? Some of these numbers are very low and do not favorably compare to US rates. You are correct. Some of these numbers are low. However, that is the nature of a statistical report. Please follow the Standards (Standards: Attachment 8.a.: Salary is cash compensation expressed in US dollars.)