Harvard MBA Explains How To Make A Career Switch

How COVID Is Impacting The Big 4 Firms

An estimated 42% of workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will not return to their previous jobs. Additionally, according to a recent study, for every 10 COVID layoffs, only three new jobs are created in place.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every organization, including the Big 4 firms: Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG.

Samantha Stokes, of Business Insider, recently spoke to experts on why the Big 4 might be hiring fewer MBAs and why networking will be critical to landing a full-time job.

COVID Job Market

At the start of the pandemic in March, we reported how big MBA recruiters such as Adobe, Visa and Wipro had announced hiring freezes.

Most recently, according to the Wall Street Journal, PwC announced that it would be pausing some its fall recruiting efforts.

A study by RelishCareers found that 36% of 2021 MBA candidates have had job offers and internships rescinded or changed due to the pandemic.

Experts say that with fewer Big 4 employees leaving firms on their own, the Big 4 will have two options: lay people off or hire less.

“There’s a chance the Big 4 won’t need to hire as much next year due to attrition,” Jeramy Kaiman, head of western US recruiting at the Adecco Group and Accounting Principals, tells Business Insider. “If students have some apprehension about finding a job they want in the coming year, it may make sense to extend their time in school to make them more marketable not just at the entry-level, but also as they ascent through their careers.”


Experts stress the increased importance of networking to make connections and, ultimately, land a full-time job.

Heather Byrne, managing director of the career development office at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, compares today’s COVID market to that of the financial crisis.

“During the financial crisis, some firms realized they were left with not enough talent when the market got better, so we are seeing firms be cautious but also being ready to pivot when they need to,” Byrne tells Business Insider. “We are encouraging students to keep networking, so they, too, will be ready for the rebound and be able to quickly pick up with existing relationships.”

Sources: Business Insider, La Salle University, P&Q, Wall Street Journal, P&Q

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