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Schools Report Heavier MBA Recruiting

Top MBA programs are reporting more on-campus recruiting

Top MBA programs are reporting more on-campus recruiting

Nobody goes to business school for the reason George Mallory cited for climbing Everest: because it’s there. People get MBAs to advance their careers, and although increasing numbers use the education to launch themselves into entrepreneurship, more are going to come out looking for a job.

And, according to new research, recruiters are beating down the doors at MBA program offices, with a majority of surveyed schools reporting more on-campus recruiting for full-time jobs this fall, compared to last.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents to an MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance survey reported more recruiting for full-time jobs, up 23% over last fall. And more than three-quarters reported an increase in full-time job postings. Only 18% of programs reported a decrease in on-campus recruiting activity.


Those increases are on top of record or near-record salary and job placement numbers at most business schools. School officials have said that generally 2014 was the best year for MBA recruiting since the Great Recession hit in 2008-2009. If anything, the latest survey results show that recruiting at the top schools is so completely full that many recruiters are now dipping into the next tier for talent.

“We are delighted to see the economic recovery continue, resulting in another year of increasing opportunities for MBA students,” says alliance president Damian Zikakis, director of career services at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “2014 was a very strong year for MBA employment and the increases noted by the majority of participating schools suggest that the 2015 results will be even better.”

Sixty-six per cent of respondents to the Fall 2014 Recruiting Trends Survey said their schools were ranked in the top 50 for full-time MBA programs.


Interestingly, when broken down by ranking, it was in B-schools ranked from 21 to 50 that the strongest majorities of MBA programs reported increased on-campus recruiting, with 81% reporting increases. That surprisingly large increase is likely due to the fact that demand for graduates of the top 20 schools has reached levels that make more upside impossible given their annual supply of MBAs.

The result: Major employers are expanding their search for MBA talent deeper into the second tier of schools. Fifty-seven per cent of schools ranked from 1 to 20 reported increases, while 67% of those ranked 51 to 100 reported increases. The percentages were very similar with regard to reported increases in postings for full-time jobs.

Financial services–which has been in significant decline since the Great Recession hit–saw the strongest increase, while recruiting for jobs in consulting, consumer products, and manufacturing also rose, according to the alliance’s report. The biggest reported drop in recruiting activity was in the petroleum/energy field. A drop was also reported in the non-profit sector, and a slight decline was reported for real estate.

And America’s startup arena seemed to be generating more jobs, with 47% of respondents reporting increased recruiting by new enterprises, and 51% reporting no change.