Employment rates at London Business School slipped slightly for 2020 MBAs compared to 2019 alumni, according to the just-released LBS Class of 2020 employment report. After reporting 92% of graduates accepted job offers within three months of graduation in 2019, LBS is reporting 90% of 2020 graduates accepted an offer within four months of graduation — slightly expanding the timeframe in response to the unprecedented disruption to recruiting and hiring caused by the coronavirus — while 91% received at least one offer during the same timeframe. It continues a very slight downward trend from 93% accepting job offers in 2017.
Consulting remains the most popular destination for LBS graduates. Going back to at least 2016, consulting has led all other sectors, and like the Class of 2019, some 40% of 2020 graduates entered the field. But, for the first time ever, the second-most popular field is technology, where 28% of 2020 graduates went after graduation. Technology tied finance in 2018, when 23% of graduates entered each field.
That is a big change for a school known for placing its graduates into important financial jobs. Last year, LBS graduates going into finance surged to 26% while tech fell to 20%. But this year, a record 28% of LBS graduates entered the technology sector while just 21% — the lowest rate since at least 2016 — walked off into the world of finance.
“This last year has clearly been one of the toughest on record for business school graduates, and we are proud that our students shone across the board,” says Christian Dummett, head of the Career Centre at LBS. “For all graduates, employment markets were challenging for the best part of 2020; yet, supported by Career Centre, the enthusiasm, commitment, and determination of our 2020 cohort prevailed to help them identify and land attractive and fulfilling opportunities.”
AMAZON HIRED 28 LONDON MBAS TO BECOME THE THIRD LARGEST EMPLOYER IN 2020
Hiring at Amazon led to the tech surge for LBS graduates. In 2019, just 10 graduates took jobs at the U.S.-based e-commerce giant. This year, the number jumped to 28, becoming the third-largest employer of LBS graduates. Mastercard hired another six and Wipro hired five to be the top-three tech employers of 2020 LBS graduates.
Overall, McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group remained the two most popular destinations for the second-straight year. McKinsey employed 43 LBS graduates this year compared to 42 in the 2019 class. But BCG’s hiring surged from 31 last year to 42 this year. Meanwhile, Bain’s LBS hiring slipped slightly from 28 graduates in 2019 to 26 this past year.
After bringing aboard five LBS graduates to share a lead in top-hiring finance firms in 2019, Credit Suisse didn’t hire a single LBS graduate in 2020. Goldman Sachs, which also made accepted offers to five graduates from LBS in 2019 had a very slight uptick, hiring one more in 2020 to be the sole top-hiring finance firm in 2020 with six LBS graduates taking jobs there.
Graduates taking jobs in the UK and Europe also dropped a bit in 2020 compared to 2019. The UK remained the most popular destination among LBS graduates, with 42% taking jobs there, down from 46% in 2019. Graduates landing positions in Asia and the U.S. and Canada grew from 2019 to 2020, knocking Europe out of the second-most popular destination for LBS graduates. Last year, 14% of graduates accepted positions in Europe, 13% went to Asia, and 10% went to the U.S. and Canada.
This year, however, 16% went to Asia, 13% went to the U.S. and Canada, and 11% went to Europe. Latin America was the next most-popular landing spot, where 9% of 2020 graduates took positions. That rate is the same as 2019.
AVERAGE SALARIES DOWN SLIGHTLY
Average salaries for LBS MBAs dropped slightly in American dollars compared to last year. This year’s class earned an average salary of $106,222 (£83,835), compared to last year’s $106,837 (£83,295). 2020 graduates reported earning another $45,814 (£36,398) in other compensation, bringing the average total compensation package to $152,034. Graduates entering consulting jobs reported the highest average salary at $113,669. Those entering technology reported the lowest average starting salary at $97,309. And those entering finance reported a starting average salary of $111,597.
Based on internship destinations for the Class of 2021, there’s reason to believe tech will continue to grow in popularity among LBS graduates. Technology continues to be the most popular sector for LBS internships — as it has been the past few years. But this year, the rate of LBS students taking internships in tech lept from 37% last year to 44% this year. Some 29% took internships in finance — slightly up from 28% last year. And 14% took internships in consulting, down from 18% last year.
The entire LBS employment report can be found here.