Survey: MBA Hiring Remains Strong Despite Downtick in Student Optimism: Bulge Bracket Banks Still Top Choice

Survey: MBA Hiring Remains Strong Despite Downtick in Student Optimism

 — Bulge Bracket Banks Still Top Choice For MBA’s —

NEW YORK, JUNE 26, 2012/PRNewswire – The vast majority of MBA graduates are still receiving competitive job offers, despite their increasing concerns about employment prospects. That’s one of the key findings of a new survey conducted by Training The Street (TTS), a leading corporate training provider for a majority of Wall Street Firms and top tier Business Schools.

TTS’s third annual detailed hiring survey, which was completed by more than 300 participants from top 25 MBA programs, showed 10 percent of respondents were less optimistic about their job prospects than a year ago, even though an overwhelming 94 percent had been invited for at least one first-round interview vs. 91 percent in 2011. Seventy-eight percent of respondents had received as least one offer, and 50 percent of respondents had received multiple offers, up from 72 percent and 41 percent in 2011 respectively.

“This is now our third annual survey, and one theme remains consistent: individuals with strong educational backgrounds and a diverse set of skills are in demand regardless of economic conditions,” said Scott Rostan, founder and Principal of Training The Street. “Bulge bracket banks are still aggressively interviewing and hiring MBA candidates.”

Major investment banks led the hiring charge in 2012, with 49 percent of respondents stating they had been recruited by such institutions. 39 percent said they had been recruited by consulting firms, and boutique advisory firms pursued 36 percent of students. Positions at global financial institutions are still in high demand, with 27 percent of respondents favoring them as top choice.

“We still see consistent hiring from the big investment banks,” said Chirag Saraiya, adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a Principal at TTS. “We’ve also noticed a more diverse base of firms actively recruiting MBAs, including startup companies, and real estate firms.”

Other findings include:

  • 53% of respondents said they obtained positions through campus recruiting, while 21% say they received an offer through an independent job search. Another 18% received an offer based on personal references.
  • More students see interpersonal skills/teamwork as the most important factor in securing a job offer (29%). Industry expertise was a close second at 26%.
  • 58% of respondents view their next position as transitional (3-5 years), while only 10% look at their next position as permanent (8+ years).
  • 47% of respondents expect their starting salaries to be $100K-$125K.
  • Only 7% of respondents are dissatisfied with their employment offer.
  • 95% of respondents are between 21-34 years old, and 76% are male.