Business School Graduates Can Find Opportunity in Careers Beyond the Usual
MBAs and other business school graduates in 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 (GMAC) in February and March found class of 2014 job seekers in those industries were more likely to have an early job offer than those searching in larger, more traditional fields such as finance/accounting, products and services, and consulting.
Data from GMAC’s annual Global Management Education Graduate Survey show that 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 graphic to the right illustrates two key data points: Sectors of business school graduates with early job offers, and the success rate by industry (percentage of job seekers with early offers, by sector).
"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," said Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC’s survey research director.
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 nine 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 seven percent and five 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 with 26 percent of all grads with job offers 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 five 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 survey collected responses from 3,049 business school graduates at 111 universities. In addition to job search, the annual survey also looks at how business school graduates evaluate their programs and their 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.