New job streams emerging for MBA grads

    1400606 bschool grads jobs gmacMBAs and other business school graduates on the job market might do well to look beyond traditional sectors to fields such as technology, manufacturing, and healthcare.

    A global student exit survey taken by the Graduate Management Admission Council found job seekers in those sectors were more likely to have an early job offer than those searching in larger, more traditional fields such as finance/accounting, products & services and consulting.

    Overall, some 57 percent of class of 2014 MBA and other business school graduates seeking jobs had at least one early offer. That’s down slightly from 60 percent in last year’s survey but nearly double the 32 percent who had offers at the same time period in 2010. The survey of 3,049 business school graduates at 111 universities was conducted by GMAC, the non-profit organization that conducts the GMAT exam on behalf of graduate business and management programs worldwide.

    “This snapshot of the early job market for business school graduates demonstrates that graduate business degrees are useful in a wide variety of careers. While demand remains strong among traditional industries, business school graduates shouldn’t overlook alternative sectors, which are actively seeking MBA and other business school talent,” said Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC survey research director.

    The 15th annual Global Management Education Graduate Survey looks at how business school graduates view their programs and offers a snapshot of their early job search and career intentions. A total of 62 percent of the graduating students were involved in a job search, and another four percent were either self-employed or intending to pursue entrepreneurship at graduation.

    Although salaries vary widely by industry, job level, and work location, the median increase in salary of those with job offers was 80 percent over their pre-degree salary. That’s up from the 73 percent increase reported by business school graduates with early job offers in 2013.

    Some key findings regarding job sectors for business school graduates:

    • Technology is emerging as a promising sector for business school graduates, as 61 percent of those seeking jobs in the tech industry had job offers, accounting for 15 percent of all students with early offers. In 2010, just 9 percent of students with early offers were in the technology industry.
    • Manufacturing and healthcare/pharmaceuticals may be the undiscovered beaches of the business school job market. Although they account for just 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of the students with early offers, students searching in these sectors had the greatest success rate, with 74 percent reporting at least one offer.
    • Consulting is the most popular field for career-switchers, as 27 percent of all career-switching graduates with job offers were in consulting. Among all job seekers, 21 percent of those with job offers are in consulting, on par with 2010 (20 percent).
    • Finance/accounting is the top sector for graduates with job offers who are not switching industries after graduation. Twenty-six percent of all those with job offers were in this sector, slightly higher than last year (24 percent) but still lower than in 2010 (30 percent).
    • Government/non-profit remains a steady sector for business graduates, accounting for 5 percent of the graduates’ early job offers. Some 62 percent of those seeking jobs in government/non-profit had early offers, about the same as last year and five years before.

    “The job market for business school graduates has rebounded nicely since 2010, and employers in all sectors recognize they need the business skills and acumen these graduates bring,” Schoenfeld said.


    Ben Ready
    Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (