MBA Employment Survey: Wall Street is losing its popularity

Career + Application

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Less than a fifth of MBA graduates want to work at one of the big investment banks, according to the eighth annual Training The Street MBA Employment Survey. This is a 7 per cent drop from 2016.

Training The Street (TTS), a provider of instructor-led courses in accounting, asset management, capital markets, financial modeling and corporate valuation, found that interest in the bulge bracket banks of Wall Street waned.

The annual survey yielded a 7 per cent drop in interest in massive, multinational corporations like Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. Only 19 per cent of respondents, down from 26 per cent 2016, said that big banks would be their top employment choice. Large banks also decreased their recruiting efforts this year. When asked which firms have been actively recruiting, 43 per cent responded they were approached by banks, a 6 cent drop from 2016.

"Banks are still a dominant hiring force for MBAs and continue to attract top talent, but working for larger, established companies off Wall Street is becoming more attractive to MBAs as they offer a different type of lifestyle," said Scott Rostan, Founder and CEO of Training The Street (TTS).

Consequently, other employment options climbed to record levels:

  • Consulting firms (20 per cent of respondents and up 3 per cent from last year)

  • Corporate development at a Fortune 2000 company (13 per cent overall, up 5 per cent)

  • Boutique banks (12 per cent, up 5 per cent from last year)

Except for:

  • Positions at start-ups were only the top preference for 5 per cent of MBAs, a 2 per cent drop from a year ago.

Other trends that emerged were:

  • MBAs are increasingly looking for a longer-term fit. Over half of MBAs polled (58 per cent) intend to stay at their next job for three to five years, representing a 4 per cent increase from last year.

  • Salaries also increased: 41 per cent of those polled received starting annualized base salaries of US$125,000 or more, and 38 per cent will earn between US$100,000-US$125,000, a 3 per cent increase for both categories combined.

  • 92 per cent of respondents preferred working in the United States, up 7 per cent from 2016. New York is the top choice for 39 per cent of MBAs, a result which is down 9 per cent from last year.

  • 54 per cent said they found their job through on campus interviews, and 25 per cent found jobs through an independent job search. Personal references helped 10 per cent secure a job.

  • Interpersonal skills/teamwork was the most important skill needed to receive an employment offer, according to 42 per cent of respondents, followed by industry expertise (15 per cent), and communication (13 per cent).

Read more on Training the Street and PR Newswire


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