Where Columbia MBAs Work & What They Do

Where do Columbia Business School MBAs work and in what industries?

With its wealth of membership data, LinkedIn is now providing a glimpse into this answer. Of course, not all Columbia MBAs are registered with the professional networking site so it’s an obviously incomplete list. Even so, the data provides an interesting window into the most likely employers of Columbia MBAs as well as the most likely industries that attract its graduates.

Source: LinkedIn membership data

Of all the elite MBA schools, Columbia stands alone in one regard when it comes to employment. More of its alumni are employed by Citicorp than any other school and, more importantly perhaps, Columbia is the only top school whose No. 1 employer is not McKinsey & Co., the powerhouse consulting firm.

McKinsey does come in second, behind Citicorp, and just ahead of Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, American Express, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Merrill Lynch.

You can’t help but notice the predominance of financial service firms which employ vast numbers of CBS alums who are members of LinkedIn. Indeed, no other top school–not Wharton or Chicago–have as many of their top employers on the finance side. After McKinsey, the next consulting firm that appears as a major employer is the Boston Consulting Group which is 13th on the list with 130 Columbia Business School grads.

Because the data is apparently drawn from a search-like function by LinkedIn, there are a few oddities about how it is reported. LinkedIn, for example, lists J.P. Morgan and J.P. Morgan Chase, the current name of the investment bank after its acquisition of Chase Manhattan Bank, as two separate organizations.

Of course, finance is the number one industry, with an overwhelming 3,610 CBS alums. Consulting is next with less than half the number of Columbia MBAs as finance at 1,575. Business development follows, while entrepreneurship is next with 1,452 LinkedIn members who claim they have a Columbia MBA.

Columbia Business School MBAs: Where They Work & What They Do


CompanyLinkedIn MembersIndustryLinkedIn Members
Goldman Sachs263Business Development1,532
J.P. Morgan228Entrepreneur1,452
American Express198Marketing1,289
Morgan Stanley184Administrative915
Credit Suisse173Sales914
Deutsche Bank172Operations765
Merrill Lynch161Information Technology509
JPMorgan Chase138Human Resources369
Boston Consulting Group130Public Relations351
Ernst & Young128Engineering333
Barclays Capital111Accounting220
Columbia Univ.109Support190
UBS81Real Estate115
Bain & Co.79Buyer72
Booz & Co.75

Source: December 2012 LinkedIn membership data

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.