Are MBA jobs in consulting and investment banking coming back?

From the results of a recent survey published by Poets & Quants, seems like the answer is yes. The P&Q article has a detailed listing of how many of the top business schools (primarily in the US) have been faring when it comes to popular post MBA careers. Good article, do check it out. If you don’t have the patience here’s a shorter crisper summary.

The best management consulting firms, investment banks, technology companies and several top notch companies appear to have shaken off their post recession blues and decided to give their HR teams reason to start consuming increased amounts of caffeine. Firms like McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Google, Bain & Co, Amazon, Booz, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble opened their doors to many MBA graduates this season. This would come as a relief to many who were concerned that a top MBA might not yield the returns that candidates expect from it.

Many would say management consulting firms are recession proof as they get called in during boom phases to advise CEOs on what new territories they can capture. And the same guys get called back to advise the top honchos on how to cut costs and survive in case of a downturn. Seems that wasn’t true after all. Consulting budgets were the first to be cut, by the top clients. And that meant strategy consulting firms stopped hiring new kids from the campuses. That phase seems to have ended. The best consulting firms were back to offer MBA jobs at the top schools. The top 3 firms, McKinsey, Bain and the Boston Consulting Group recruited the maximum number of MBAs from almost all the top schools. Deloitte Consulting and Accenture were the next in the league. Ross offered post MBA jobs to 35 Ross graduates!

The financial services industry which was the worst hit by the recession has emerged from the shadows. The top investment banks descended on Wharton, Columbia and Chicago for their biggest haul. Goldman Sachs has been very aggressive on the recruiting scene. Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse were the other usual suspects that lined up at the top schools to recruit their star players.

Among the technology firms surveyed, Amazon was the biggest recruiter. It show extra love to Ross (17 hires) and Wharton (15) MBA grads. Microsoft hired in double digits from Wharton and Darden. You’d have expected IBM to recruit in big numbers too, but the figures show modest hiring from Columbia, Kellogg and Darden. Surprisingly, technology companies like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and Google flocked to Kellogg. For marketing jobs, as expected Kellogg continued to be popular among ‘industry’ players like P&G and J&J leading the pack.

The biggies Stanford and Harvard don’t share news about their biggest hirers. So their numbers were missing from the survey.

As the results continue to flow in from multiple schools, the numbers published in the P&Q article will move northwards. But it may still be good to be cautious when you are considering such a substantial investment in your future. Not all schools might have been as lucky as the ones surveyed. Also, the article did not talk about the placement statistics for non-US bschools. So resist the temptation to generalise and assume that the rosy picture extends to all schools across all geographies.

As always, supplement the information with personal research. Along with the placement figures, it’ll be interesting to contrast the salary figures. Are we heading back to the wild pre-recession compensation and bonus packages?

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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
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  1. Arbaaz says:

    Despite this picking up scenario, we keep hearing news of people who are having trouble securing visas in US after a MBA from a top college. What are your views sir ?

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    The bigger issue here is not the jobs, Arbaaz. It’s the visa. Read this post: H1B visa process after lottery makes it tough for Indian MBA Students.

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