Finding a Job

Survey: The Job Market Gets Worse for MBAs


Future business leaders of America, brace yourselves. Some 43 percent of employers plan to cut the number of MBAs hired, according to Michigan State University’s new survey of 6,500 employers, a drop that will cause expected employment of MBAs to plummet nearly 25 percent from last year. Demand is down across almost all economic sectors, the report says, with financial services and government reporting the steepest drop. It goes on:

“The contraction would not normally be a problem, but the supply of MBAs is still increasing. Graduates from the top MBA programs can expect to find good opportunities, but MBAs with little professional experience may have more difficulty landing a job commensurate with their education.”

The picture is particularly bleak in finance and insurance, where MBAs are expected to have less than half the opportunities they did a year ago. It’s not good in government, health care, social assistance, or retail, either. It’s slightly better in computer services and management consulting, where companies are expected to hire MBAs at the same level they did last year, and actually improving in administrative services, educational services, real estate, and transportation.

For students in other fields, the news is generally better. For the first time since 2007, employers rate the overall job market for college grads “good.” The authors expect the college labor market will closely match last year’s 3 percent growth—not least because some employers are looking to hire college grads, where once they would have looked for MBAs or other advanced-degree candidates.

Expected hiring for associate and master’s degrees is flat over last year. PhDs have it best: Employers say their hiring targets for PhDs are 26 percent higher than last year.

Sager is director of special projects for Businessweek.com.

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