Two top US business schools, University of California, Berkeley’s Hass School and MIT Sloan, have said they sent a bigger slew of their MBA students to tech firms such as Google, Amazon and Apple this year.
The pair join Michigan’s Ross School in leading the tech charge in business education, after the Ann Arbor institution said in November last year it hit a new record high of 18% of its MBAs flocking to tech outfits.
At Haas, a number of Silicon Valley giants led the recruitment surge. Nearly 38% of its MBAs were hired by tech companies, such as Adobe. This is down slightly on 2014’s figures, but represents a 6% rise in tech hiring at Haas over four years.
Julia Min Hwang, assistant dean of the MBA Career Management Group, credited recruitment gains to the business school’s Bay Area location.
“It is a cycle where the more Haas students that go into tech, the more desirable [the industry is] for future applicants interested in this sector,” she told BusinessBecause.
Also luring MBA students to tech are the growing wages to be earned at top companies, which tend to offer stock options. 36% of Haas’ MBAs received equity or stock options, up from 31% the year before. Tech employers paid them $120,476 base salaries, on a par with financial services firms.
“Perks have become more of a given,” Julia said.
MIT Sloan salaries are similarly meaty in tech: $120,000. More than 30% of the MBA class of 2015 were hired by high technology companies, up 4% on last year. Among the top employers were Apple and Microsoft.
“There is significant interest on the part of the first-year MBAs in technology,” said Susan Kline, co-director of the Career Development Center at MIT Sloan.
For Amazon, Michigan Ross is its favourite source of MBA talent. The e-retailer hired a record 59 of the 455 MBA students there in 2015 — twice the amount as a year earlier.
The percentage of Michigan Ross MBAs hired by tech in 2015 hit a fresh record high — 18% — up from 15% a year before.
“Interest in tech firms has come up,” said Damian Zikakis, director of career services. “What’s fuelling that is the constant drum beat in the media and students’ awareness of what it’s like working in a tech company,” he said — which are typified as having relaxed cultures that are open to innovation.
The doubling of MBA hires at Michigan Ross highlights Amazon’s aggressive global expansion. It is now a top recruiter at a number of highly-ranked international business schools: HEC Paris, ESADE and INSEAD are among them.
Christian Dummett, at London Business School, said: “A small number of high profile tech companies have been growing their MBA level hiring rapidly. For example Amazon recently became a Corporate Partner of the school, and has quickly become one of the biggest recruiters of our students.”
Sarah Juillet, director of postgraduate careers at Cass Business School, said: “We have seen a growing interest in careers in [the] entrepreneurship, technology and healthcare sectors.”
Tech has drawn MBAs away from financial services and banking, the latter a sector beset with scandal, cutbacks and onerous regulation, and which students associate with gruelling working hours.
But employment data submitted over the past month by some top business schools bucks the trend.
Both Columbia and NYU Stern in New York, close to Wall Street banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, reported rises in financial services hiring in 2015.
At Columbia, 37% of MBAs were hired by finance firms, mostly in investment banking or brokerage. JPMorgan and Goldman hired 27 students, while Citi and Morgan Stanley also recruited there.
The highest signing bonuses earned by NYU Stern grads went to the 24% working at top investment banks: $45,963.