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What Are The Most Popular Industries For Business School Graduates?

Having a business school degree opens the doors to a wide range of career opportunities—but according to a new survey, a select few industries are the most popular

Tue Nov 7 2023

Wondering what you should do after business school? Recently, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) released a survey detailing the most popular industries for business school students to enter after their degree. 

Over 1,100 business school students and graduates from 94 different countries responded to the online questionnaire, of which 58% were enrolled in an MBA program. 

As part of the survey, they were asked about the reasons why they went to business school, what factors went into choosing their program, and what they intended to do after their degree. 

One question required respondents to select the industries that they would like to work in post-graduation. Here's what they said. 

Most popular industries for b-school students

The report found that consultancy was by far the most popular post-graduate industry for b-school students, with 41% choosing it as their most desired career path.

In second place, 26% of students selected the banking and finance industry, followed shortly by technology at 24%. Together, these industries comprise the traditional ‘big three’ professions for the majority of business school graduates.

Coming in at a close number four was IT at 22%, a sector that's strongly linked to the tech industry.  

Also popular, 17% of respondents chose the fields of marketing, energy, and education as their most coveted career destinations. 

A further 16% of students selected engineering as one of their top choices, followed then by the tech-related arenas of computing and electronics, and the internet (picked by 15% respectively). 

Other notable industries included tourism, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.

Less common, but still cited, career paths included social media (9%), beauty and fitness (5%), and the gambling industry, with 2% of respondents noting it as one of their ideal areas to work in. 

What do b-school students want the workplace to look like?

Though the survey found high variation in the types of industries that business school graduates desire to work in, there was significantly more commonality in nature of their ideal workplace. 

The vast majority of respondents (64%) said that they wanted to work in a hybrid environment, with some days spent in the office and some days spent at home. 

This contrasted with 23% of b-school students, who said they would prefer to work entirely in the office. 

However, only 9% stated a preference for entirely remote work, indicating that most business school students want to have some degree of in-person engagement with their workplace.

Finally, just 4% indicated a desire to work as a digital nomad. 

Although it looks like the big three industries of consulting, finance, and tech are still favorites amongst business school grads, changes to the business landscape appear to be coming in the form of a preference towards hybrid work.