The titans of Silicon Valley are snapping up business school students in greater numbers as the lustre of the tech scene continues to brighten.
Amazon will recruit “hundreds” of MBAs for roles in product management, operations, retail and finance, says Miriam Park, director of university recruiting for the e-commerce group.
She adds: “MBAs are very strong problem solvers and analytical thinkers, which makes them a really great leadership pipeline.”
Of the 1,481,442 people employed in the Bay Area, nearly one-quarter have a graduate or professional degree such as an MBA, according to data from siliconvalleyindicators.org.
“The larger firms like Amazon or Google or Facebook about five-six years ago started to come on campus,” says Maeve Richard, director of the Career Management Center at Stanford GSB, who adds: “Tech has been very strong and MBAs are very interested in tech.”
Daniel Macklin, co-founder and vice president at SoFi, the $4 billion fintech company based in the Bay Area, says: “We’ve hired many people from Stanford.”
At Michigan’s Ross School, Dell doubled its hiring of MBAs last year. At Cambridge Judge Business School, Google and Infosys are among the top five employers for 2015. And at INSEAD, both Google and Amazon are top MBA recruiters.
Christian Dummett, at London Business School, says: “A small number of high-profile tech companies have been growing their MBA level hiring rapidly.”
At Berkeley-Haas School, 43% of last year’s MBAs were employed in the technology industry, with Silicon Valley’s Microsoft and Samsung among the top hiring companies.
“It's a cycle: with more Haas students going into tech that makes it more desirable for future applicants,” says Julia Min Hwang, assistant dean of career management.
For MIT Sloan School, 25% of the MBA class were employed into the high-technology industry — including at San Fran’s Dell and Facebook — up from 20% in 2012.
Susan Kline, co-director of the Career Development Center at MIT Sloan, says: “There is significant interest on the part of the first year MBAs in technology.”
MBA students globally are increasingly opting for careers at tech firms — which offer lucrative salary and stock packages as well as other job perks — instead of more traditional routes.
“We’ve seen increased interest in entrepreneurship [and] technology opportunities,” says Roxanne Hori, associate dean of corporate relations and career services at NYU Stern School.
Chris Weber, associate director for careers at UCLA Anderson School, says technology companies often provide similar pay, and great perks.
“Many technology companies consistently appear on ‘best company’ lists, making them among the more desirable companies for MBAs,” says Doreen Amorosa, managing director of the Georgetown McDonough MBA Career Center.
Silicon Valley has attracted top talent from the world over. But tracking down hires remains one of many Bay Area companies’ top priorities. “Finding the right people for the right position at the right time is the most important thing,” said Phil Libin, chief executive at Evernote, the digital note-taking company, at a recent Oxford Saïd Business School event.