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Startups Strengthen MBA Job Market

By | 07.26.13

Startups Strengthen MBA Job Market

Providing another sign that the once-devastated job market for MBAs continues to improve, startups are increasingly roaming the hallways of business schools looking for help.

The Wall Street Journal reported in its July 24 online edition that 57 percent of graduate business schools have seen increased recruiting activity by newly formed business entities. Writer Melissa Korn posted results of a survey by the M.B.A. Career Services and Employer Alliance detailing the uptick in startup recruiting. She noted that the survey showed that while hiring activity overall among MBAs has slowed slightly from 2012, recruiting in certain sectors remains robust. MBAs continue to find employment through the recruiting efforts of technology, energy and consumer products companies. Conversely, B-school grads are increasingly looking for opportunities at startups in those same sectors.

Recruiting for financial services and government jobs remained slow, with little change from 2012.

Korn writes that business schools are responding to the growing presence of startups on their campuses by promoting networking opportunities and strengthening ties with alumni within the startup ranks. And networking is actually supplanting job fairs as the recruiting method of choice, both for the schools and the businesses. At some schools, placement personnel have even assumed a matchmaker roll, linking students with direct alumni requests for help.

The survey showed that new ventures still make up only a small percentage of MBA employers. Some startups simply avoid the MBA talent pool altogether.

Nonetheless, the survey, which was completed in May and encompassed recruiting data from the previous year, showed that — bolstered by young businesses — nearly half of the 84 schools responding reported increased overall recruiting activity on campus, an improvement from the 2012 results. Only 12% of schools reported a decrease in recruiting.

Startups have also been selective about the schools they recruit, seemingly bargain shopping by bypassing the elite schools in favor of second-tier campuses. According to Korn, only a third of the schools ranked in the top 20 reported increased recruiting for full-time positions, and 22 percent reported declines. But B-schools ranked 21-50 reported the strongest recruiting growth among the 84 respondents.

Korn, Melissa. “Startups Step Up Recruiting at B-Schools“; The Wall Street Journal. July 24, 2013.

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