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LBS Employment Report Finds Grads Falling Out Of Love With Finance

London Business School MBA graduates may be seeing higher salaries and increased hiring rates, but its love of the finance industry may be waning.

According to the 2016 London Business School employment report, MBA grads are joining the financial sector at the lowest rate in five years. LBS grads are still joining the industry at 25 percent overall, which trails the 35 percent of graduates that enter consulting. Technology, which hired the third-most LBS 2016 graduates, came in third at 21 percent—the same percentage from the previous year.

via London Business School Employment Report 2016

Goldman Sachs, which typically hires the most LBS MBAs that move into the financial sector, only hired six employees from the 2016 class, down from nine the previous year. Credit Suisse and Citi Bank also hired less grads than the previous year. This all comes despite the fact that the aforementioned companies hired several more total summer interns, but did not retain them. For instance, Goldman Sachs took in 13 interns but only hired six employees—creating a retainment rate of only 46 percent.

Another marked difference is the slightly noticeable decline in finance hires joining private equity firms rather than traditional investment banks. 2016 marked the first year—ever—that more joined private firms, with nine percent of graduates compared to seven percent joining investment banking. These figures fall in line with trends that have persisted since the financial collapse of 2008. eFinancialCareers debuted a report in September of 2016 that found a steadily declining love between MBAs and traditional big banking.

If you’re in London in particular, therefore, the MBA-into-banking route has pretty much disappeared in 2016. Banks’ recruiters say it’s the culmination of a long term trend. ‘This has been going on since 2008,’ says one, speaking off the record. ‘Once things got tough, MBAs just weren’t seen as value for money any more.’

Despite the dampening of the overall numbers, salary rates saw a noticeable bump for finance industry hires. The average annual salary of 2016 grads jumped from £78,358 to £81,905, with the highest max salary leaping from £125,468 to £151,469.

Consulting Hires Jump

The total percentage of LBS graduates joining the consulting industry jumped moderately from 33 percent in 2015 to 35 percent last year, with the majority of hires joining Boston Consulting Group (BCG), McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Company. BCG specifically saw hires nearly double over the course of a year, improving from 19 to 34 total.

Like the financial sector LBS hires, salaries increased across the board for consulting industry MBAs. The average annual salary of those in the industry leaped from £79,773 to £83,268, although the highest salary tracked was £117,389—down from £121,824 in 2015.

The Incoming LBS MBA Class

A total of 411 new students will join LBS in 2017, ranging from 24 to 39 years of age. They enter the MBA program with an average of five years of professional work experience and a 701 GMAT score (up from 699 last year). As well, there is a moderate increase in female students and diversified nationalities. Accepted female applicants jumped to 37 percent from 36 percent, and 68 total nationalities are represented, up from 65 in 2015.

You can read the entire LBS 2016 employment report here.

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About the Author

Matthew Korman
Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is the Managing Editor of MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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