According to Business Week: “More MBA grads are switching careers as the job market improves.”
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According to Business Week …
The vast majority of MBA candidates arrive at business school determined to make a career change.
Yet because of the weak economy, the number of graduates breaking into a new field fell in 2010 and 2011.
“When the labor market is flat, employers want to hire someone who is the exact perfect fit … that’s someone from the same industry who has done the same work. Ideally, they want to hire someone who did the same thing for a competitor.”
That trend is now reversing.
64% of MBAs who graduated in 2012 entered a new industry, up from 55 percent in 2011 and 52 percent in 2010
The fact that companies are once again willing to take on management-level hires with relevant—though not direct—industry experience is a strong indicator of an improving MBA job market.
Salaries for switchers are often in line with those of classmates who remain in their industry.
“An MBA from a top institution remains one of the strongest ways to change industries or job functions, and we saw that get stronger over the last hiring cycle.”
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Management consulting, followed by energy and health care, were the most popular industries for MBA graduates last year.
The public sector, nonprofit work, and manufacturing were the least favored.
Fewer graduates are heading into finance as Wall Street companies cut jobs and compensation.
Last year, for the first time, the finance industry had more employees depart for MBA programs intending not to return than it had business students looking to break in.
In contrast, management consulting has grown in popularity.
The BLS expects the number of management consulting jobs to increase 22 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Career switchers tend to gravitate toward consulting because it can offer exposure to a wide variety of industries and can position them favorably for attractive job opportunities down the road.