The Class of 2016 will be spilling out of business school in one of the best MBA job markets ever, according to a new report by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance. A study shows that a majority of schools report yet another increase in on-campus recruiting activity for full-time positions compared with the same time period last fall.
The association of business school career management offices and companies that hire MBA and masters in business students found that 65% of respondents report an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time MBA students, up slightly from 64% last year. The strongest increases in recruiting were seen in technology and consulting, though specialized masters programs also saw an increase in the financial services industry. Some schools reported earlier offers for internships and full-time positions.
In another sign of how strong the MBA job market is, the alliance reported that the increase in on-campus recruiting was actually highest in schools ranked 21 through 50 and also in schools not ranked at all, presumably because the graduates in Top 20 MBA programs were already tapped out. Some 61% of Top 20 B-schools reported a rise in on-campus recruiting, versus an 83% increase at schools ranked 21st to 50th and a 70% increase from unranked institutions (see table below).
BIGGEST INCREASES IN RECRUITING FROM FORTUNE 500 & STARTUPS
The increases in full-time recruiting activity was most evident among Fortune 500 companies and startups, defined as firms in business for 12 months or less. Some 58% of the schools reported increases in recruiting from Fortune 500 firms, while 48% reported increases from startups.
“We are still seeing an increase in recruiting from startups, even though the company type that had the biggest increase was the Fortune 500,” says Megan Hendricks, executive director of the alliance. “A lot of schools are responding to the chang ein the economy. They are increasing or enhancing their programs for entreprreneurship, and they are getting startups to recruit on campus. From the student perspective, startups do have a lot to offer, including the opportunity to work on multiple things and have more of a say in where the company is going.”
The smallest increases in recruiting activity were from mid-to-smaller sized companies and from family-owned firms, according to the report. MBA recruiting by mid-sized firms, with 100 to 500 employees, was up 38%, while recruiting by small firms, with less than 100 employees, was up 31%. For family-owned enterprises, the increase was just 18%.
BAD NEWS: A DECREASE IN U.S. JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONALS
The report was not without some less-than-positive news, however. Schools saw a slight decrease in job opportunities for International students, which could be attributed to the ongoing challenges surrounding visa restrictions in the United States. Hendricks said that the crunch was due to increasing enrollment of international students by business schools at a time when there has been no increase in work visas for them. Some 36% of the schools said job opportunities for non-U.S. students have fallen, while only 19% said they had increased. The remaining 44% reported no change.
The decline was not, added Hendricks, because more companies decline to fill out all the documentation required to gain visas for internationals. Still, industries that are historically supportive of International student recruiting, primarily consulting and technology, continue to recruit large numbers of non-work authorized students across all programs, according to the report.
Another slightly negative sign: A declining number of schools reported an increase in full-time job postings for MBAs, as opposed to on-campus recruiting efforts. The report found that 61% of the responding B-schools reported an increase in full-time job postings for the same population, which is a decrease from the 79% who experienced an increase a year earlier.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES INCREASED FOR FULL-TIME MBAS ROSE DESPITE RANKING