Startups are getting increased attention from MBAs and they’re apparently returning the love, according to a new survey. Business schools report that the largest increase in MBA recruiting activity this past year came not from large or mid-sized companies but from firms that were less than a year old.
The survey, based on responses from 84 business schools, was published yesterday (July 22) by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, an association of business school career management offices and companies who hire MBA students. The findings show that both on-campus recruiting opportunities and full-time job postings have increased for most schools worldwide in the past year.
But nowhere was that increase greater than in start-up companies. Some 57% of the business schools responding to the survey said that companies in business for 12 months or less had increased their full-time recruiting of MBAs, compared to 41% of large companies with 500 or more employees (see table below).
“A growing number of MBA students are focusing on entrepreneurship, either by starting their own business or helping other students start theirs. Reports from large and small MBA programs confirm the increased student interest in a range of entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Jack Oakes, co-chair of the Research & Trends Committee and assistant dean for career development at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
In general, the report showed a strong market for MBA talent, though one that increased less than the previous year. About 48% of the responding schools reported an increase in on-campus activity for full-time positions. In 2012, 51% reported such an increase.
Full-time job postings increased for most schools, with 68% reporting more opportunities than last year. In the 2012 survey, 69% of respondents reported more full-time postings over the previous year.
Responding schools reported increases in recruiting activity in all industries, with over 40% of schools reported increases in technology, consulting, petroleum/energy and consumer products.
The relatively upbeat survey somewhat contrasts with a recent study by the Graduate Management Admission Council which found that Class of 2013 students who acquired a job had to work slightly harder to obtain a job offer than last year’s class. Overall, job seekers in the Class of 2013 submitted a median number of 10 resumes and went on three job interviews for a return of two job offers, compared with job seekers in the class of 2012, who submitted a median number of three resumes and went on two job interviews to secure two job offers.
When schools in the MBA Career Services survey were asked to identify major changes in full-time recruiting, alumni-initiated hiring was said to be increasing at 59% of the schools. Career fairs, in contrast, appear to be losing momentum. Some 61% of the responding schools said career fairs were decreasing in importance this past year (see chart below). “Alumni continue to be great advocates for hiring of MBAs and expanding recruiting relationships,” the report said.