Wall Street isn’t any longer the default destination for newly graduated MBAs: More of them are opting for jobs in technology. Indeed, tech companies are snapping up MBAs at a growing rate in both the U.S. and the UK, according to the Financial Times.
At Stanford, for example, the number of MBAs joining technology firms jumped for the second year in a row last year, with 32 percent of 2013’s class taking jobs in the sector. That’s up from 24 percent in 2012 and 13 percent in 2011. At the London Business School, 2013 marked the first time more graduates joined technology firms than banks. Amazon hired 11 MBAs from last year’s class, topping Citi’s hiring of eight. “We value MBAs for … the global approach that they can bring,” said Miriam Park, Amazon’s director of university programs. The online retailer will hire hundreds of MBAs globally in 2015, she said.
A global student exit survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council confirmed the trend. It found that 61 percent of students looking for a job in tech received early job offers, representing 15 percent of all early offers. “If you take away job security and promotion [which used to make banking look good], the alternatives become more attractive,” said Steve Dalton, senior associate director in MBA student services at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
Slowing opportunities in banking isn’t the only thing driving the interest in tech jobs.
Technology firms are now offering salaries that are competitive with the finance and consulting world, the FT says. Plus, working for a tech company has an attractive allure to it. “People are excited about the company and the product—that’s the main driver, not the money,” said David Morris of LBS’s career services office.
Not surprisingly, competition for jobs at brand names like Google, Amazon and Facebook is steep and their hiring process is rigorous. But the MBAs at top business schools have a leg up, since such companies actively recruit on their campuses.
MBAs looking for a job in the sector might also consider targeting smaller technology companies. Of the Stanford MBAs hired by tech firms last year, about 40 percent went to a large firm, while another 40 percent joined a small or medium-sized company. Twenty percent went to work at a startup. While pay was reported to be less at the smaller companies, the package often included equity.
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