Surveying more than 2,700 b-school candidates across a variety of regions and age groups, GMAC found just 34% of females were interested in tech, compared with 44% of men. A further 29% of underrepresented candidates desired tech careers, compared with 40% of those who were not underrepresented.
Revealing differing values among generations, 47% of millennial respondents showed interest in tech careers while the figure was just 35% among Gen Z.
The same survey conducted in 2021 found interest in tech careers growing both overall and among specific candidate segments, however overall interest in tech fell in the 2023 study. Despite mass upheaval in the tech industry in 2023, the bulk of this year’s survey was carried out before companies began laying off staff.
Overall consulting was the most desirable job sector, almost half of candidates expressed interest with the figure rising since last year. Technology placed second, ahead of financial services by just 1% suggesting it could fall in popularity overall as Gen Z increasingly enters the job market.
Gen Z respondents preferred finance and accounting jobs, with 50% expressing interest in this career path. It was a similar story for men, with 52% listing finance as a desirable career path versus just 38% of women.
The government or nonprofit sector—typically a more stable career path than the private sector—was more popular among women, millennials, underrepresented, and first generation candidates.
Elsewhere, male respondents (31%) were more likely to express interest in becoming a CEO than their female counterparts (25%). However, they were also more likely to show desire to land entry and mid-level jobs.
The survey revealed business school candidates remain interested in global opportunities, with 30% indicating they want to work for a company that offers international travel and 25% showing desire to live outside their country of citizenship.