Wharton | Ms. Future CEO
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Inclusive Consultant
GMAT 650, GPA 6.7
IESE | Mr. Future Brand Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Civil Servant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. National Security Advisor
GMAT 670, GPA 3.3
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Military 2.0
GRE 310, GPA 2.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Navy Electronics
GRE 316, GPA 3.24
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Techie Teacher
GMAT 760, GPA 3.80
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
London Business School | Mr. Indian Electric Tech
GMAT 620, GPA 3.5
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Jones Graduate School of Business | Mr. Late Bloomer
GRE 325, GPA 7.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. MS From MSU
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Ms. Healthcare Visionary
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare VC
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. S&P Global
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Investment Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 2.2
Harvard | Mr. British Tech 2+2
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Ms. Kellogg Bound Ideator
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
IU Kelley | Mr. Tech Dreams
GMAT 770, GPA 3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Brazilian Black Engineer
GMAT 705, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Research 2+2
GMAT 740, GPA 3.96

Most Popular Cities, Sectors For MBAs

Business People Team With World Map-resized-600Where The Potential MBAs Are

As a whole, MBAs are considered first adopters. So it’s no surprise that you find them where the action is. Fifty years ago, that meant mass migrations to New York, Boston, and Chicago. Now, the “action” has shifted to Silicon Valley and Austin (if not Omaha and Chattanooga) as entrepreneurship continues democratizing the old order.

Survey 30 MBAs and you’ll get 30 answers. Some prefer a traditional path, replete with long commutes and few risks. Others seek freedom inside weird and wired communities that reflect their youthful zeal. In fact, many prospective MBAs choose schools based on their proximity to career opportunities (and alumni networks). Want to run a brand? Try the Midwest. Want to work in finance? Head East.

So which locations appeal most to the next crop of MBAs? Recently, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducted a metro analysis of its annual mba.com Prospective Students Survey. From 2012-2013, over 10,360 aspiring MBAs living in 23 US metro areas were asked about “their preferences, motivations, and career intentions” when they logged onto MBA.com, the official website of the GMAT. Here are the sectors and locations where future MBAs are working now … and which sectors they intend to work in the future:




Current (8% of all U.S. residents)Intended (22% of all U.S. residents)
Washington, D.C. —  26%Washington, D.C. — 40%
San Francisco — 16%San Francisco — 32%
Boston — 12%Seattle — 26%
Chicago — 26%
Atlanta — 26%




Current (10%)Intended (14%)
San Jose — 44%San Jose — 40%
Austin — 27%Seattle — 26%
Seattle — 19%Austin — 23%
San Francisco — 23%




Current (17%)Intended (17%)
Washington, D.C. — 32%Washington, D.C. — 32%
San Diego — 30%San Diego — 21%
Austin — 23%Boston — 20%
Baltimore — 20%


Energy / Utilities
Current (4%)Intended (7%)
Pittsburgh6%San Francisco11%


Finance / Accounting
Current (17%)Intended (27%)
New York City28%Charlotte37%
Boston24%New York City35%


Current (8%)Intended (11%)
San Diego12%Pittsburgh15%


Current (7%)Intended (7%)


Products and Services
Current (21%)Intended (26%)
St. Louis28%Los Angeles33%

Alas, these statistics reinforce the conventional wisdom. For example, San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle are the dominant metros for prospective students working and wanting to work in technology. And Washington, D.C., is the place to be for those working in the public sector. However, there were some surprises on the list:

  • Although the highest concentration of prospective students wanting to work in products and services is in Miami, mature metros like Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles also have large percentages of prospective students wanting to work in products and services.
  • Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta are building a buzz in the consulting sector, with a quarter of respondents in each of these locales citing consulting as a potential post-MBA field.
  • While the Northeast corridor continues to govern the financial sector, prospective MBAs in Charlotte and Dallas are increasingly drawn to this field.

So what does this mean? If you operate an MBA program in these locations, here’s who your local prospects are and what doors they hope a business education will open for them. In other words, continue playing to the strengths of your community. Beef up your curriculum, support, and business partnerships. In the end, these strengths are what will ultimately draw these career changers to your school.

Editor’s Note: Prospective students could choose more than one “intended” location. Current breakdowns for each metro area do not total 100% since since some respondents were out of work or working in other fields when they visited the site.

Source: GMAC