Posts by Matthew Korman
If you’re growing weary of all the MBA data forms and essays and interviews and anxiety—keep your eyes on the prize! That light at the end of the tunnel? Well, recent hiring projections from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) suggests it just keeps getting brighter.
Each November, GMAC conducts a short year-end poll of employers, asking them to reflect on what business school graduate hiring actually looked like that year and what they anticipate hiring to look like in the year ahead. GMAC’s most recent Year-End Poll of Employers Report, released yesterday, paints a promising picture of hiring trends for upcoming crops of graduating MBAs.
“We continue to see optimism—companies are still optimistic about the future, and they are expressing that in their desire to hire business school graduates,” says GMAC Director of Research Gregg Schoenfeld, one of the report’s author. “The overall message here is that it is a good time to go to business school and, from prospective candidates’ perspectives, it’s a good time to move forward on that goal to apply.”
Indeed, nearly eight out of every 10 employers (79 percent) say they expect to hire MBA graduates in 2017. That’s up from the 68 percent who hired MBAs in 2016. Of those planning to hire MBAs in 2017, almost as many (78 percent) say they plan to hire as many or more MBAs as they did the year before.
Not only do more employers expect to welcome MBAs into their ranks—the majority plan to pay them more as well. More than half—58 percent—said they expect to increase starting salaries for MBAs in 2017 at or above the rate of inflation. Another 40 percent report that they will maintain 2016 salary levels.
Explaining this bullishness, in part, is employers’ confidence in the value MBA graduates bring. In the most recent poll, 96 percent of responding recruiters said that hiring recent business school graduates creates value for their companies. And 71 percent cite bringing on MBAs and non-MBA business master’s graduates as a priority in their hiring plans.
GMAC’s 2016 Year-End Employer Poll surveyed 167 recruiters representing 140 companies in the United States and 26 other countries around the globe. Among the respondents were 36 companies in the Fortune 500, including 21 Fortune 100 firms. The majority of respondents—71 percent—were U.S. companies, which is typical for this survey, according to GMAC’s Schoenfeld.
The good news extends beyond MBAs—in fact, more employers plan to hire new employees in each candidate type they were asked about than they did in 2016. This includes candidates with master’s in accounting and management, as well as other business master’s, non-business master’s, bachelor’s and experienced business hires. Roughly a third (31 percent) expect to hire candidates with master’s degrees in management (31 percent) and accounting (29 percent).
The MIT Sloan School of Management, late last week, released its 2016 Employment Report for MBAs, revealing slightly slipping salaries year over year and slightly lower percentages of graduates heading into consulting and technology than in prior years. The pharmaceutical/healthcare industry drew the third largest percentage of graduates—5.8 percent—knocking investment banking out of the top three for the first time—perhaps ever. Investment banks drew just 4.7 percent of the 2016 class, down from 6.1 percent last year, 6.8 percent in 2014 and 8.1 in 2013.
As it has for several years running, consulting snapped up the most MIT Sloan grads this past year, 30.5 percent, but that represents a second consecutive year of decline, from 33.9 in 2014 and 32.1 in 2015. The technology sector drew almost as many graduates as consulting—29.3 percent of the class. That was down slightly from 2015’s 30.7 percent, but an increase over 2014’s 26.1 percent and significantly up from the 19.2 percent that went into tech in 2013.
McKinsey and Amazon Compete with Founders’ Dreams
In terms of absolute numbers, more MIT Sloan ’16 MBAs headed off to work for McKinsey than any other company—26, or 6.6 percent of the entire class. Amazon was second, luring 23 recent grads. Falling right between these two top hiring firms were the 24 graduates not seeking employment because they were starting their own businesses, down slightly from last year’s 28 founders. Representing 6.1 percent of the graduating class this year (and 7 percent last year), the ranks of entrepreneurial founders at MIT Sloan rival schools like Harvard Business School, where founders made up 6.8 percent of the most recent class. But they still trail Stanford Graduate School of Business, with its whopping 15 percent of 2016 graduates who started their own ventures upon graduation.
The other consulting giants—Bain and Boston Consulting Group—drew the next largest contingents of recent grads, 17 and 14 respectively. Then came tech firms Microsoft and Google, snapping up nine and eight a piece. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the sole investment bank named among Sloan’s top hirers in 2016, employing five recent grads.
Salaries Hover at or Below Prior Year Levels
As for how much money Sloan grads are bringing home, the median base salary for 2016 grads remained at 2015 levels, $125,000. The mean base salary for graduates heading into what MIT Sloan breaks out as service industries—consulting, software/internet, investment banking/brokerage, retail, private equity/venture capital, investment management, diversified financial services and media/entertainment—was $126,841, down slightly from the prior year’s $127,601. Grads heading into manufacturing industries—including pharmaceutical/healthcare, computers/electronics, consumer products, automotive/aerospace, oil/energy, telecommunications and transportation/equipment/defense—claimed a mean starting salary of $120,696, down from last year’s $123,416.
Fewer students—66.1 percent—reported signing bonuses in 2016 than the 75.3 percent who reported them in 2015. But 2016 saw a rise in the prevalence and amount of other guaranteed comp. This year, 22.1 percent of graduates reported receiving other guaranteed compensation, with a median of $23,401. The year before, only 18.8 percent expected other guaranteed compensation and the median was lower at $20,500.
The highest starting salary of the Class of 2016—$200,000—went to a student entering what MIT Sloan categorizes as “Manufacturing, Other,” explaining in a footnote that other refers to manufacturing, telecommunications, and transportation/equipment/defense. The lowest, $50,000, went to a grad heading into the retail industry.
MIT Sloan breaks out signing bonuses not by industry but by function. The highest signing bonus for this most recent group of grads was $77,000, awarded to a graduate who is now working in product management/development. The median signing bonus varied depending on function, with leadership development/general management/consulting/marketing/operations roles coming in around the $25,000 mark but investment banking and “finance, other” (including corporate finance, finance operations, treasury and M&A) reporting median bonuses of $49,000 and $47,500 respectively. The median other guaranteed compensation, meanwhile, was $19,500, ranging from $100 at the low end to $89,380 at the upper limit.
Tech Tops Consulting for Second Year Running in Drawing Sloan Interns
A look at where MIT Sloan Class of 2017 MBA students chose to intern shows technology holding the greatest sway, with 29 percent of students heading to tech firms for the summer. This is down from 2015, when 33.2 percent headed into tech for their internships, but it still outdistances the consulting industry, which this past summer drew 21.9 percent. Unlike with full-time jobs, investment banking held onto the third spot in terms of attracting interns, drawing 8.1 percent of the class. Pharma/healthcare, which beat out investment banking in terms of full-time positions, attracted 7.4 percent.
Salaries for summer interns at Sloan edged upward slightly depending on the industry. For students interning in service industries, the median monthly pay was $8,000, no change from the summer before. But the mean monthly pay moved up to $8,633, from $7,771. For students interning in manufacturing industries, the median monthly salary stayed constant at $7,200, but the mean monthly salary dipped from $7,102 last year to $6,871 for the most recent crop of interns.
Timing of Job Offers, Reason for Accepting Jobs
In terms of the timing of job offers, 88.7 percent of MIT Sloan 2016 grads had job offers at the time of graduation, down from 91.5 percent the year before. But by three months out from graduation, 95.3 percent had offers, pretty much on par with the prior year’s 95.6 percent.
A little dip in salaries may be no big deal for MIT Sloan grads, according to an additional set of metrics shared in the school’s employment reports. Unlike many peer schools, MIT Sloan includes statistics on why graduates accepted the jobs they did. Far and away the most important factor contributing to what job Sloanies accepted was potential for growth, cited by 37.5 percent of graduates. Job function was the reason reported by 14.8 percent, followed by company culture, cited by 13.4 percent, and then industry, named by 11.7 percent. Far fewer Sloanies accepted the jobs they did because of firm prestige (8.2 percent), job content (5.3 percent), location (4.9 percent), compensation (2.1 percent) or commitment to sustainability (1.4 percent).
By 2050, a handful of countries have admirably promised something that seems like a far-off pipe-dream—running solely on renewable energy.
U.S. News & World Report has just unveiled its findings on the best business schools in the country for MBAs to earn a job upon graduation.
Just before the end of the calendar year, U.S. News & World Report unveiled a list of the 10 business schools with the highest enrollment rates in the United States. The list is part of the publication’s ongoing ‘The U.S. News Short List’ series.