A Comeback For Wall Street Hiring Of MBAs?

by on February 21st, 2014

Wall Street, which substantially cutback hiring of MBAs during the Great Recession, may be making something of a comeback.  A new survey published recently (Feb. 19) shows that the largest single increase in MBA recruiting this year is in the financial services industry.

The survey by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance found that roughly 42% of the responding business schools reported that financial services showed increased full-time recruiting, the strongest increase when compared to last year when only some 33% reported increases (see chart below). Anecdotally, the Alliance said, some schools attribute the rise to an increase in student interest in that industry. This, in turn, leads to more focused efforts on the part of the school and recruiting firms.

Slight increases were also experienced in real estate, petroleum/energy and technology, with consulting—which had picked up the slack from lower hiring by finance in recent years—experiencing a decline. The only industry that showed a large decrease in recruiting activity compared with last year is government, according to the Alliance’s Fall 2013 Recruiting Trends survey.

43% of Schools Report an Increase in On-Campus Recruiting

Overall, there was generally good news in the report. Some 43% of respondents report an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time jobs, while 56% of respondents report an increase in full-time job postings. About 27% said on-campus recruiting remained unchanged from last year, while 20% said it was down. Some 29% of the schools reported increased on-campus recruiting for international students, with only 14% reporting a decrease. The majority—57%—told the Alliance that international recruiting stayed the same.

Internship hiring appears to be positive as well, with 47% of respondents experiencing an increase in recruiting and 65% seeing an increase in job postings. The greatest increases in internships were seen in the financial services and technology industries, with government showing the largest decrease. Consulting saw a slight decline for internships as well.

The results are based on surveys completed from Jan. 13th through Jan. 24th from 76 full-time MBA programs largely in North America and Europe. Some 85% of the responding schools are in North America, while 13% are in Europe.

“It’s very encouraging to see an overall continued increase in recruiting for MBA graduates and interns this year,” said Mark Peterson, MBA CSEA president, in a statement. “2013 turned out to be a solid year for MBA employment, so the large majority of schools reporting stable to increasing trends indicates very positive hiring as this year’s recruiting season progresses. That the financial services industry is showing strengthening recruitment this year is welcome, and indicates continued recovery in this important arena for MBA jobs after the downturn experienced in recent years.”

Strongest Increase in Financial Services Recruiting

Source: MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance

One of the more interesting features of the survey is a breakdown of recruiting activity by school rank. Of the 76 responding business schools, the Alliance said that 52% were ranked among the top 50 MBA programs in at least one of the major rankings. Schools ranked 51st to 100 were actually more upbeat in reporting increases in on-campus recruiting (47%) than schools that were ranked between 21 to 50 (33%). About 43% of the Top 20 schools reported increases (see below table).

On-Campus Recruiting Changes By School Rank

MBA hiring plans

Source: MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance

And when it came to MBA job postings at schools, the increases were even healthier than actual on-campus efforts. Some 68% of the Top 20 schools reported increases, while 50% of the schools ranked 21 to 50th reported an uptick and 45% of the schools ranked in the bottom 100 showing increases as well (see table below).

MBA Jobs Postings At Schools By Rank

Source: MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance

Source: MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance

An important harbinger of MBA job prospects is the recruiting by companies of MBA students for summer internships. That market also appears to remain strong. Only 15% of the responding schools reported decreased on-campus recruiting for internships, while only 8% showed declines for internship job postings.

The Alliance said that schools are implementing a number of innovative programs to assist their students, including increased career treks, job action groups and increasing just-in-time job search initiatives. “It’s encouraging to see our member MBA programs engaging industry partners in so many innovative ways in order to leverage career and internship opportunities for their students,” added Peterson.

1 comment

  • I am post graduated with MBA from a local university of andhra pradesh (india).we don't have a place to compete with MBA's from b-schools. And I'm dual specialised in marketing and Hr,i want do forthere studies. Which is the better option to me for present market situation 

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