In our guide you'll find a breakdown of the five most popular career paths for business school graduates, highlighting what roles are available, how they differ, what the culture of each industry involves, what career progression opportunities you can expect, and the skills you'll need for success.
You can also gain key tips for success from business school careers experts, as well as insights from b-school alumni working in top roles across various industries.
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Business Careers After Graduation: What You Need To Know
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5 Career Paths You Could Embark On After Graduation
Business school provides you with the knowledge, skills, and connections to work in a broad range of careers after graduation.
But, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2023 Prospective Student Survey, there are five industries that attract the most interest...
Consulting is consistently the most popular industry for business school graduates. Almost of half of those considering enrolling at business school list consulting as the preferred industry for their business careers.
High salaries play a big part in the industry’s appeal. Graduates from MBAs or business master’s who go into consulting can expect to earn base salaries above $150k, with signing and performance bonuses to boot.
While consulting and finance were traditionally the dominant choices, the rise of the technology sector has made it a top b-school career path.
The likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are among the largest employers of business school graduates. They pay six figure salaries that increase significantly depending on location. They also hire grads across a broad range of roles and functions.
3. Financial Services
Until recently, finance was the second most popular industry among b-school students. The sector carries a prestige and allure that draws waves of graduates each year.
Jobs are typically well-paid. Among 2022 grads of the top-ranked Columbia Business School MBA, median salaries across different sections of the industry ranged from $125,000 to $180,000.
There is a wide variety of sub sectors to choose from, each offering its own range of roles and functions, meaning experiences can vary.
4. Investment Banking & Asset Management
While technically part of the financial services industry, around a third of prospective business school students specify investment banking and asset management as their target career path.
Both offer opportunities to work for highly prestigious firms.
Many of the world’s largest investment banks including the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley hire from business school cohorts. Likewise, there are opportunities for grads with top asset managers such as BlackRock.
5. Consumer Goods
While the least popular of the industries included here, almost 20% of prospective students identify consumer goods as their top career path.
Careers in consumer goods take various forms. Business school graduates often land roles in retail with top brands such as Nike, or fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) multinationals including Nestlé and Unilever. There are also opportunities with luxury brands like LVMH or Kering.
For more info about what it's like to work in these key industries, as well as careers advice from experts, download our BusinessBecause Careers Guide: What's Next After Business School?