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.
Considering Your Career Options?
Business Careers After Graduation: What You Need To Know
⇨ 87% of corporate recruiters are confident business schools prepare new hires for success
⇨ 71% of recruiters say leaders in their organization have a graduate business education
⇨ 47% of recruiters from Global Fortune 100 companies say they are highly confident that business school prepares new hires for success
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?
W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University
Hands on Experience, labs
I love that that this school is known all over the world and the education is of high quality. It's been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as No. 1 for best online bachelor's in business programs
Amazing Start to Your Career in Social Sciences
I had a great experience at ASU as a Political Science student. ASU is one of the biggest universities in the U.S., offering a wide range of studies. The student body was diverse and overall great to study with. ASU is rich in both academics and student life. There are many clubs, student organizations, amenities, and activities you can join. One thing I would recommend is invest in a lot of sunscreen and good walking shoes. Due to it's large campus you'll be doing a lot of walking which is great but can be a bit of a struggle during the very hot summer months.
Great MSW program!
Arizona State University has an amazing online Master of Social Work Program. Even though it was an online program, I feel that I developed great connections with professors, co-instructors, and peers. Finding an internship placement was stress free because of the high level of support the program offered. I would definitely choose to go back to ASU if I decided to further my education in future.
Long lasting friendships
I have been able to have incredible experiences and make connections that will live long in my memory. I've had the chance to start my career here in a way I never thought I would. I love how the university lets you choose your major and minor and take classes with a lot of freedom.
Opinion Arizona State University has many great opportunities available to students. All of the departments are very helpful and really care about student's succeeding. What's there to like? One think I like about ASU is their Education program. They really ensure that students will receive useful information that is directly applicable to their career. One thing I dislike is, nothing! It is a high ranking university but one notable thing is that the school is located in Arizona; where temperatures reach well over 100° throughout the entire Summer. Would I reccomend ASU? I would certainly reccomend Arizona State University for any students who are looking to learn and gain meaningful experiences throughout finishing school.
Arizona State University
ASU is a wonderful university with so many educational opportunities. Its professors are friendly and approachable and were always willing to help or give advice to students whenever their help was needed. It also provided students with many opportunities to meet people outside the classroom for example clubs and other social events hosted within the university. ASU offers great education and I loved the campus and faculty
The amazing features about Arizona State University would not allow me to write less when it comes to recommending the second to none university to the public! Life on Arizona State University campus is an intriguing possibility! Here is where dreams are realized due to the immense support from lecturers academically as well as fascinating large lecture halls with modernized appliance that makes learning easier. Goals are realized with ease as students who need support are given chances
The university offers a lot of options for students, particularly in terms of integration and extracurricular activities including involvement in several student organizations. However, I am dissatisfied with the quality of the information offered and the degree of practice skills needed for success in a professional position. Fantastic university location