B-schools Report Slightly Improved Jobs Outlook
B-schools are hopeful that this positive trend will continue and spread to other industries as well
The MBA Career Services Council recently released its Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey and there is tentatively welcome news for MBAs and prospective MBAs.
The findings revealed that business schools have seen an increase in recruitment activity, and in job postings. 70% of schools reported an increase in on-campus activity for full-time positions compared with the previous year while 46% reported an increase in job postings for internships.
The findings show that both on-campus recruiting opportunities and full-time job postings have increased for most schools worldwide. It also showed that increases in recruiting activity are occurring across many sectors.
Over 40% of respondents reported increases in consulting, consumer products, energy, pharma/biotech/healthcare products, and technology. In contrast, financial services showed a decrease in activity compared with an increase in Fall 2010, while real estate and
government continue to be the weakest growth industries.
Increase in recruiting activity was mainly driven by mid-sized and Fortune 500 firms, with activity in all other company types staying the same.
MBA Career Services Council President Nicole Hall, who heads Alumni and Career Services at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University, says that the survey results indicate a positive trend as, “Schools are continuing to find creative ways to assist students and companies with the job search process.”
Their efforts appear to be paying off but Shane Sugino, Associate Director at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University says that career services and business school are still faced by challenges in the Real Estate Market, Private Equity and Venture Capital Markets.
Sugino feels that real estate has slowly stabilized since the great recession, but real estate capital markets are still volatile and liquidity is still an issue. As such many recruiters aren’t feeling so robust yet in their future forecasting.
With private equity and venture capital, Sugino feels that, "There is a consolidation occurring which by nature reduces the amount of opportunity and with the senior executives/partners at these funds sticking around longer, there are less opportunities to advance for middle managers. This in turn creates pressure at the MBA entry level".
Derek Walker, Director of Careers at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, adds that another challenge in facilitating jobs for MBAs is the large amount of interest in consulting jobs. “Consulting remains very popular, but very competitive as well, maybe more so as many students are focusing on consulting instead of finance”, he says.
MBAs continue to be resourceful, using online networks like LinkedIn to discover new opportunities. Sugino says that LinkedIn is becoming such a commonplace tool for recruiters that Northwestern delivers LinkedIn specific workshops to educate its students.
“Recruiters will routinely reach out to MBA students through LinkedIn to market opportunities or at the very least will do a bit of screening beforehand and then reach out to the career office to get our permission to talk directly to our students”, he says.
All in all, it seems that MBAs and MBA hopefuls can only cross their fingers for this positive trend to continue while making the most of what career services teams have on offer.
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