More MBAs Pursue Opportunities in Technology

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Wall Street isn’t any longer the default destination for newly graduated MBAs: More of them are opting for jobs in technology. Indeed, tech companies are snapping up MBAs at a growing rate in both the U.S. and the UK, according to the Financial Times.

At Stanford, for example, the number of MBAs joining technology firms jumped for the second year in a row last year, with 32 percent of 2013’s class taking jobs in the sector. That’s up from 24 percent in 2012 and 13 percent in 2011. At the London Business School, 2013 marked the first time more graduates joined technology firms than banks. Amazon hired 11 MBAs from last year’s class, topping Citi’s hiring of eight. “We value MBAs for … the global approach that they can bring,” said Miriam Park, Amazon’s director of university programs. The online retailer will hire hundreds of MBAs globally in 2015, she said.

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A global student exit survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council confirmed the trend. It found that 61 percent of students looking for a job in tech received early job offers, representing 15 percent of all early offers. “If you take away job security and promotion [which used to make banking look good], the alternatives become more attractive,” said Steve Dalton, senior associate director in MBA student services at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

Slowing opportunities in banking isn’t the only thing driving the interest in tech jobs.

Technology firms are now offering salaries that are competitive with the finance and consulting world, the FT says. Plus, working for a tech company has an attractive allure to it. “People are excited about the company and the product—that’s the main driver, not the money,” said David Morris of LBS’s career services office.

Not surprisingly, competition for jobs at brand names like Google, Amazon and Facebook is steep and their hiring process is rigorous. But the MBAs at top business schools have a leg up, since such companies actively recruit on their campuses.

MBAs looking for a job in the sector might also consider targeting smaller technology companies. Of the Stanford MBAs hired by tech firms last year, about 40 percent went to a large firm, while another 40 percent joined a small or medium-sized company. Twenty percent went to work at a startup. While pay was reported to be less at the smaller companies, the package often included equity.

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Comments

  1. BY Nightcrawler says:

    I just don’t see this. MBA’s are not taught how to code, and tech companies do not have openings for people who cannot code. I received my MBA last month. Not a single class required coding, and frankly, most of my classmates didn’t even understand the difference between WordPress and MS Word. If you said “AJAX” to them, they’d have thought you were talking about cleanser.

    The MBA’s discussed in this article must be programmers who got MBA’s so that they could move into positions where they are supervising the other programmers, much like nurses who get MBA’s so they can move into management.

    • BY Glen Smith says:

      I’ve seen a lot of newly implemented MBA’s going into coding but most back in the day when there was truly a shortage of qualified software engineers. In my case, found out pretty quickly I hated management but loved the income, software engineers and a few sales people were the only people making the money those of us on the management track made. I suck at sales and the work of a SE was fun. I was able to leverage my background in accounting, marketing and business economics to make it as a programmer. Could also be that since middle management’s primary role is to take the blame for almost all failure but as companies becoming more flat, middle management is now just embedded.

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