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Business Grads Face Rough Job Market

May 10, 2010

job wantedWhile job prospects for MBA graduates have improved slightly in the past year, finding a position is still difficult.

"It's a rough time to come out as an MBA," noted Mark Brostoff, director of the career center at the Olin Business School at Washington University, who was quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You can't paint it any other way."

Brostoff added that the job market for business school graduates is one of the worst he has ever seen, and that employers are reluctant to pay more for those with MBA degrees.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports that according to a survey of more than 2,000 companies by the Graduate Management Admission Council, last year companies hired half the MBA graduates they did in 2008. Moreover, one-third of companies hired fewer grads than they wanted to in 2009, and 16 percent hired none at all.

"It took longer for even our best students to find something, "confirmed Christine Shea, associate dean for graduate programs and research at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, who was interviewed by the Democrat. "It took a lot more hard work and persistence."

She predicted, however, that at the very least, the job market for MBA grads would stabilize this year. Indeed, the Boston Business Journal reports that opportunities have improved slightly, but business graduates need to remain flexible about job possibilities.

Wendy D'Ambrose, director of graduate career services at Bentley University in Massachusetts, for example, noted that about 30 percent of this year's MBA graduating students already have jobs, compared to 15 percent last year. But for the most part, graduates are looking into technology, biotech, energy and healthcare companies, small and mid-size firms, nonprofits and government jobs rather than financial services and financial management companies.

"I think students are becoming more realistic," said Susan Lemke, interim director of career development at Babson College in Massachusetts, who was quoted by the Business Journal. "If they get a good offer, they take it. They're not saying, 'I'm waiting for Proctor and Gamble.'"

Students appear to be optimistic that the job market with eventually improve. And John Challenger, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, noted that MBA graduates should see some relief as early as this year.

"Corporations can ill afford to keep the pipeline closed down to new graduates for too long," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


Compiled by Yaffa Klugerman

Sources:

"Demand Drops for MBA and Law Degrees," Foster's Daily Democrat, May 9, 2010, Jason Claffey

"Higher Education Gets Boost from Sagging Job Market," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 10, 2010, Tim Barker

"New MBAs Face Tepid Job Market," Boston Business Journal, April 30, 2010, Mary Moore

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