Much has been written lately on the MBA hiring market, but most articles have been more concerned with how many people are being hired and not whose doing the hiring. Businessweek’s article, “MBA Jobs: Post-Crisis, A Brave New World,” looks at how finding MBA jobs post the financial crisis is a whole new ballgame.
When Lehman Brothers collapsed they dropped the ball on new hires, along with many of the other top MBA hiring companies such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. However, a new group of players were ready to pick the ball up and run with it. Companies such as Apple, IBM, and Amazon, which had not recruited many MBAs in the past, began hiring them in large numbers.
Not only have MBA graduates started playing for another team, but some of the largest firms have also begun to hire more bachelor’s degree holders and placed their MBA graduates in different departments. For instance, Goldman Sachs’ securities division has hired more Bachelor’s degree holders than previously, and Goldman has placed more of its MBA hires in private wealth management offices spread throughout the US.
Meanwhile, some MBA candidates are being enticed by jobs in other fields, such as education and even working for the FBI. One of the new leading MBA employers is IBM, which has even been added to Wharton's top employer list for the first time in ten years, hiring more than Citigroup, Bank of America, and Merrill Lynch.
How should you, as a potential MBA applicant, respond to this change in the job market? Broaden your thinking. While yes, finance and consulting still are major recruiters for MBA grads, there are other major players. Don’t feel that you have to say you want to go into consulting or investment banking to make a case for your MBA. Those options may not be as safe as they seemed three years ago, and events have proven them not so safe. Your sincerely desired, less trodden path to the future, if it requires an MBA, may be much more compelling, perhaps even a home run.
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