Today is the International Worker’s Day or Labour Day, celebrating the achievements of the Labour Movements. To be able to fully appreciate all the fights for better labour conditions and the eight hour working day you must have something very basic: a job.
Today seems to be the perfect day to talk about something I’ve been asked many times by prospective MBA students: jobs and how the job market is. Jobs are a crucial part of any MBA, as most people do an MBA either to change jobs or to get promoted. As the MBA reaches its final stage, everyone is pretty much focusing their energies in finding a job. But the important question everyone who’s thinking how doing an MBA is: how is the job market?
Sadly, I have to tell you the job market is not doing very well. In particular, the investment banking industry is not recruiting as it did before. Due to the credit crunch, many investment banks are actually downsizing and, obviously, not recruiting. This is particularly relevant as a significant part of the MBA students aspired to get a job in this industry. The other main destination of MBA students is consulting. Consulting is not suffering as much as banking, however some of the main consulting firms are recruiting less or postponing their recruitment agendas. Again, these are not great news for MBA students.
Despite the not so encouraging news from these industries, it seems like there are still many opportunities out there to be harvested. Most MBAs get a job from the open market and not from the MBA Leadership Programmes so not everything is bad. If you like statistics, I’d say by now around 20% of our MBA class has secured a job. It’s not a great number but there’s still plenty of time to go and most jobs are actually found closer to the starting date. As far as I know, it’s a bit below last year’s number, but not dramatically below. So it seems this is just the way it is.
I’m part of the group that still doesn’t have a job. However, I think the open market should not be underestimated. Like I said, most MBAs get their jobs on the open market and not on the fancy programmes that recruit on campus.
Does this mean this is a bad time to do an MBA? I would say there is no bad time to do an MBA. Some years ago getting a job would probably require less effort than it requires today, but it seems like an MBA is still a very valuable asset to have and the networks that are built here should not be underestimated either.
So using my own medicine, now is the time to apply massively to the open market, be patient and be prepared for when the opportunity comes!