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Google Most Popular MBA Employer Amid Migration To Tech Sector

Google retains rank as top MBA employer as tech companies become leading business school recruiters. Consultancy firms also popular among MBAs.

Wed Jul 1 2015

Google has topped the list of the most popular MBA employers in research that confirms a significant shift in business graduate job destinations to the technology industry.

Tech has become a magnet for MBA students, who are energizing businesses from e-commerce group Amazon to Apple, the world’s most valuable company.

“Technology companies are seen to be the place of innovation and creativity. This is really attractive to MBA candidates,” Paula Quinton-Jones, director of career services for Hult International Business School, told BusinessBecause.

Google bested all other companies for the ninth consecutive year to the title of most sought after company among MBAs, with nearly 30% saying the internet search giant was among their top companies to work for. The annual list is compiled by Universum, the employer branding company founded by a graduate of Stockholm School of Economics.

Google has doubled the number of business schools it recruits from. Google is already a leading recruiter at top schools including Berkeley Haas, Kellogg and Stanford.

Apple, the record smashing iPhone maker, came second in Universum’s list. Apple is looking for MBAs to join its marketing, operations, sales, and internet software and services teams. In its last fiscal year, the company added nearly 9,000 non-retail jobs to its 100,000 strong workforce. At Duke Fuqua School, Apple has hired 74 students and graduates for internships and full-time roles over the past five years alone.

Amazon came in at fifth and is highlighted by 12% of MBAs as a desirable employer. The e-retailer has become a symbol of the tech shift at business schools. It is a leading recruiter from most of the top-ranked MBA programs.

At Michigan Ross, for example, Amazon hired more MBAs last year than any other company — including Deloitte and McKinsey. At London Business School, Amazon was the third-largest recruiter in 2014, ahead of Citibank.

“The relentless commercialization of technology products and services has seen opportunities [open] for MBAs,” said Paul Schoonenberg, head of MBA careers at Aston Business School.

The tech takeover continues in a separate Universum ranking based on a survey of 168,000 general business and IT and engineering students. Google again took the top spot for business students. L’Oréal came second, followed by Microsoft in third place.  

Uber, the $50 billion taxi hailing start-up, is also actively recruiting MBAs, according to Robyn Gleeson, director of the Career Development Centre at UNSW Business School, who has had discussions with Uber about its recruitment strategies.

Sue Kline, senior director of the Career Development Office at MIT Sloan School, said tech companies hire MBAs for roles in business development, product management, marketing and finance.

“The combination of understanding the technology and developing a strong business skill-set is a powerful asset,” she said.

The Universum survey found that business students are attracted to professional training and development, challenging work, and opportunities for international travel.

“Top employers are the ones that have made professional development the top thing on their agendas,” said Claudia Tattanelli, global director at Universum. Also important are working in a creative and dynamic environment, and leadership development.

Eric Young, assistant dean for the MBA Career Center at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, argued MBAs are attracted to roles involving technology — but this extends beyond the traditional tech industry.

“MBA students are excited about and attracted to innovation and speed...Technology is driving this — but not just tech companies,” he said.

Meanwhile, the management consulting sector scored highly among MBAs polled by Universum. McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte and Bain are all ranked in the top-10. Among all business students, EY, PwC and KPMG also got high marks.

Nora Wu, PwC vice chairwoman, said: “It’s important for us to be creating leaders at all levels of the business, and for our people to be able to think, learn and develop together — personally and professionally.

“We are working hard to attract, nurture and develop the right people for our business.”

Mark Otty, EY managing partner for Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa, said: “Our purpose is to build a better working world for our people, and part of this is to recruit and develop great talent.”