It still may be too soon to judge how Brexit will impact MBA employment at the United Kingdom’s premier business schools but so far the facts show no impact at all. Nearly a year after the British public voted in a referendum to exit the European Union, London Business School grads landed record average salaries and posted extraordinarily high job offer rates in 2017.
The school reported that 94% of its graduates received a job offer within three months of graduation, while 93% had accepted those offers of employment.. Last year’s results are nearly identical to the previous year when 96% of the Class of 2016 received job offers three months after commencement and 94% accepted their jobs.
Average base salaries rose a modest 2.8% to €79,866 ($92,400), up from €77,693 in 2016. Other guaranteed compensation spiked 20.5% to €34,894, from €28,967 a year earlier. LBS does not disclose, however, what percentage of the class received other guaranteed comp, making it difficult to estimate total average pay for London’s Class of 2018. LBS graduated 413 MBA students last year.
LBS BASE SALARIES WERE 48.6% LOWER THAN THOSE AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL LAST YEAR
LBS’ average MBA salaries are well below those of rival U.S. schools. At Harvard Business School, salaries averaged $137,293 last year, a 48.6% premium over the LBS base, with an average of $129,227 for foreign nationals graduating from HBS. At Wharton, average salaries totalled $135,716, with foreign national graduates at Wharton earning base salaries of $130,641.
“Continual demand for London Business School (LBS) talent transcends borders, sectors and markets,” wrote Lara Berkowitz, executive director of the career centre at the London Business School, in the 2017 MBA employment report. “In addition to consulting and a range of finance sectors, there is growing interest in technology – a key force shaping our world today – seen by the uptake of fintech and e-commerce internships. Of our first-year MBAs, 36% interned for tech firms while taking the programme – an uplift of 8% from the previous year.”
Despite worries that some of the big employers of MBAs in the U.K. might slow hiring as a result of the Brexit vote, there was no evidence of that trend in LBS’ stats. Exactly 50% of the class landed jobs in Britain last year, down just two percentage points from the 52% who gained jobs in the U.K. in 2016. Some 16% of the class started jobs in the rest of Europe, exactly the same as 2016. Some 10% of LBS’ grads in 2017 started work in Asia, down a single percentage point, from 11%. North America saw a two-percentage-point rise last year to 9%, from 7% in 2016.
HALF THE CLASS ACCEPTED ROLES AT 32 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES ON SIX CONTINENTS
“Our diverse talent pool took up roles across the world,” added Berkowitz. “Half of the class explored careers in the UK (primarily in London), while the other half accepted roles in 32 different countries in six continents.”
Though INSEAD has long had a reputation as the consulting school in Europe and London has been known as the place for finance, LBS’ employment report makes clear that consulting is now the number one choice of London MBAs. Last year, a record 41% of the school’s graduating class took jobs in the consulting industry, a six-percentage-point jump from 35% a year earlier.
Back in 2013, only 29% of London’s MBAs went into consulting, roughly equal to the 28% that year who went into finance. That tiny gap has widened from a one-percent difference to a 15-percentage-point gap, with only 26% of last year’s grads taking jobs in the finance sector (see below).
THE THREE TOP EMPLOYERS OF LBS GRADS: MCKINSEY, BCG AND BAIN
Some 20% of the Class of 2017 went into technology, down slightly from 21% a year earlier, while only 13% landed jobs in diversified industry, down from13% in 2016. The diversified category includes such companies as Kraft Heinz, AB InBev, ArcelorMitta, nd Glaxosmithkline.
Global consulting giant McKinsey & Co. hauled away the largest number of LBS graduates again, hiring 37 of the grads. Boston Consulting Group was next with 36 hires, while Bain & Co. saw its job offers accepted by 35 LBS grads. In contract, the top major hirers in finance–Goldman, Sachs (7), Credit Suisse (3), and Itau Unibanc (3) managed to hire only 13 grads combined (see below).