MBA Job Market Shows Fragile Upswing

Posted by: Alison Damast on June 17, 2010

Those hoping for buoyant tidings on the state of the MBA job market will likely be disappointed by the latest findings from the MBA Career Services Council (CSC), which released its Spring job survey outlook yesterday. The survey reaffirms many of the findings of the Graduate Management Admission Council’s job and recruiter survey, which I wrote about back in early June. Overall, MBA recruiting still has not bounced back to where it was before the economic meltdown, though it is showing signs of improvement, according to the CSC survey, which collected data from dozens of business schools across the U.S. and Europe.

This Spring there was a slight jump in full-time recruiting activity over last year, but recruiters remain cautious in the overall number of hires and in forecasting their hiring needs for next year, the survey showed. One area that appears to have gained traction is the internship hiring market, which signals hope for the coming year, says Kip Harrell, president of the MBA Career Services Council.

“The results, particularly around internship recruiting, are a welcome relief from the downturn over the past two years. MBA career service professionals continue to recognize, though, that the economy is weak and the future is hard to predict,” Harrell says.

Below are a few of the highlights from the survey:
• Of the respondents, 38 percent reported an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time MBA jobs this spring, up sharply from the two percent who reported an uptick last year. Meanwhile, only 40 percent of respondents reported a decline in recruiting, down from 60 percent last year.
• Full-time job postings are on the upswing, with 60 percent of schools reporting an increase in listings over last year.
• Industries with the strongest recruiting results are energy and petroleum, government, non-profit, healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, and technology. Lagging behind are consulting, investment banking, venture capital and private equity and real estate.
• Internship recruiting remains the strongest sector of the job market for MBA programs, with 74 percent of schools reporting on-campus opportunities to be flat or up; that’s a sharp change from last year when 68 percent of schools reported a drop in on-campus internship recruiting.

It will be interesting to see what the summer months bring and whether this fragile growth in the job market signifies positive, long-term change. We’ll be keeping an eye on how many MBA interns receive full-time offers at the end of the summer, as well as how many 2010 graduates have landed jobs three months after graduation, and will keep you posted on our findings.

Readers, what do you make of these findings? How did you find the job and internship market this year at your school?

Reader Comments


July 7, 2010 3:23 PM

It great to hear that MBA internships are on the upswing. People tend to forget that the market eventually corrects itself and that even though the economy is slow now, slowly but surly jobs will start to trickle back. For more info check out mba internship

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