The Paw Print
According to an analysis of U.S. News data more MBA graduates are landing jobs now than in the past two years. Of the 441 business schools surveyed by U.S. News, 135 provided job placement data for their 2011 graduates of full-time MBA programs in an annual survey. Among those schools, 78.8 percent of 2011 graduates were hired within three months of graduation. Hiring information for graduates of part-time programs was not used to calculate these percentages.
By comparison, 119 business schools provided employment data in 2009 and 2010, and among those schools, 75.7 percent of 2010 grads and 70.8 percent of 2009 grads landed a job within three months of graduation. These average percentage gains reflect a 4.1 percent growth in the MBA hiring market from 2010, and an 11.3 percent increase from 2009, among those schools that provided data.
Specifically, those on-campus recruiters want MBAs to fill technology positions. More than 60 percent of respondents to the MBA Career Services Council survey reported an increase in recruiting for full-time technology positions in 2011, up from the 37 percent bump technology job recruitment saw in 2010. In 2011, the surveyed business programs felt a bigger increase in recruitment for technology jobs than for positions in any other industry.
U.S. News data show a similar trend: Business schools with the highest job placement percentages include Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Management and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, where 95.1 and 93.5 percent of 2011 grads, respectively, found work within three months of graduation.
Whatever field MBA students plan to enter, they need to develop a clear focus on what field they want to pursue before they enter the grad program, says Tsung of Goizueta. Unlike most undergraduate programs, MBA tracks typically last about two years.
Tsung suggests that students get practical experience in a potential field before they invest in the MBA program, by volunteering with a related organization, joining the industry’s association, or exploring that kind of work in their current company. Students can also talk with employees of the industry they’re interested in and ask questions about what they do and the challenges they face, Tsung adds.
With a solid idea of what sort of work they want to pursue with their MBA, students can hit the ground running when they begin classes. MBA curricula and the hiring process are often tough, so there’s not much room in a two year, sometimes $100,000 program, to change directions, some say.
And often, as they take classes, MBAs must juggle coursework, job prospects, family life, and more, says Corinne Snell, executive director of the Center for Student Professional Development at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where 95.3 percent of 2011 grads found work within three months of graduation.
The hectic schedule of an MBA program is something the student will have to get used to.