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MBA job opportunities by industry and function

As thousands graduate globally from the hallowed grounds of the programs of yore, we were curious to check where they are headed in terms of job opportunities. Among the huge list of career options, we’ve examined a lot of different MBA jobs and careers one can take after graduating from international business schools.

In this pursuit, we decided to take a look at the freshly released placements reports of the top 10 (as mentioned by Business Week or FT) schools globally. This will hopefully serve as food for thought for another set of thousands as they being their quest for the elusive MBA program. In order to evaluate the MBA job opportunities by industry and function, we’ve relied on data from the B-school websites.

MBA Job Opportunities by Industry

No surprises here as Consulting and Finance careers continue to take the lion’s share of fresh MBA grads. It is interesting to note however that non-profit/government make up a healthy proportion of outgoing grads.

The various news article extolling the likes of Google as the employers to choice duly reflects in the heavy pie taken up by the Technology sector – good news for the super competitive Male/IT/Indian applicant pool there.

Many of the smaller slivers of the pie, the more niche ones, tend to remain closed for the international candidate pool however – areas such as Media, Healthcare and Energy tend to prefer the local populace. In the similar vein, though retails make up for a good 10% of placements, this too tends to be relatively difficult to break into for international candidates.

The dismal percentage of manufacturing related jobs could be a dampener as that is an area where international candidates can still stake a claim. Perhaps the pie will look different if we were to focus on the lower ranked schools – but this is clearly not the industry of choice when it comes to the top schools.

MBA Job Opportunities by Function

For the sake of rationalization across schools, we’ve clubbed together Consulting and Corp. Strategy. Across schools that do provide that breakup, Corp. Strategy (or Strategic Planning) constitutes 4-6% of that part.

Clearly this is the area that utilizes the MBA grads the most as has been the trend for a few years now. Even if we sum up all the different sub-functions within Finance, they do not match up to the sheen Consulting still carries. It is encouraging to note the not so insignificant percentage for PE/VC recruitment across schools – though one can clearly not bank on those areas as a post-MBA career and feel ‘safe’.

There are quite a few similarities in the two pie charts. The technology sector becoming dominant and operations/manufacturing combination being relegated to name a few. Marketing continues to weather the storm and remains a popular career choice – but the area of B2C marketing does tend to remain closed for international candidates. Jobs in the realm of Product Development and Business Development are more amenable on that front.
School Specific Observations

There are a few trends that stuck us that clearly warrant a mention here. A word of caution – do not assume that if Columbia has heavy finance recruitment, the school is only trying to get people with finance background or aspirations. Placements is an output metric and not necessarily an indicator of the intent of the concerned school.

In our interactions with various MBA Admissions committee (read a recent interview here for instance), it is clear that the schools want to remain sector/function agnostic and promote diversity. That is the only thing that can keep them as sustainable business enterprises.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

• Columbia has a whopping 47% placements in the Financial Services realm; only 9% in Consulting. Clearly a marked departure from most schools where these two are way more balanced. Columbia also has a fledgling and healthy proportion of media related placements.

• MIT Sloan and Stanford stand out when it comes to Technology industry recruitment – head and shoulders above the rest.

• Yale is the clear winner when it comes to Education/Non-profit related placements – a hefty 10%

• Contrary to popular belief, Kellogg is not the only one with a high number of students opting for the Marketing function. Stanford infact scores higher.

• Stanford cements is position yet again as the hub of action in the PE/VC space – the proximity to the entrepreneurial hub should be a huge help.

I could go on and on but those are the clear things that stand out from the data. The way you as a candidate can use some of this is to calibrate your school selection as well as know where you stand vis-à-vis the trends of the day. Being aware of the trends is critical in taking well informed decisions that do not lead you into a post-MBA ding-depression trap.

Do you have other interesting observations from your own research? We’d love to hear and continue mining the data to get you the right set of insights.

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Manish Gupta
About Manish Gupta
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Email. Or follow on Linkedin, Facebook.

9 thoughts on “MBA job opportunities by industry and function”

  1. Thanks Sameer!
    It was quite infirmative with all the figures supporting it.
    As the percentage in technology is on the increasing trend, something I am curious to know is- available roles in technology sector.

  2. @ Mayank – pretty different those roles. Presales is where you respond to RFPs basis guidelines provided by account manager or business analysts or SMEs. In IT Consulting, you would go to the client site, understand the challenges they are facing and then recommend the right solution to overcome it. You may or may not then work with an internal team to deliver the solution.

  3. Manish Gupta doesn’t exist. i couldn’t see the scholarship page that he got for mba from stanford and also his linkedIn profile. I guess he is fake.

  4. Hi Sameer,

    I am plannign for MS in CS for Fall 2016. I got 318 in GRE and will be giving Toefl coming week.

    Could you please put more light on the job opportunities in US after doing Masters in CS.



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