More Business School Graduates Favor Tech Over Finance

The potential of technology

November 12, 2013

A growing number of graduates from elite business schools are forgoing suits and ties for a more laid back look. According to The Wall Street Journal, b-school graduates are increasingly ditching the traditional finance and investment banker route for careers in technology.

At Harvard Business School, for example, the percentage of newly minted MBAs who took a tech job went up, while the percentage of graduates who accepted jobs in finance went down. This year, 18 percent of MBA grads took jobs in technology -- up from 12 percent in 2012 -- and 27 percent took jobs in finance -- down from 35 percent last year. Other top b-schools such as Yale and Cornell are seeing a similar trend among their MBA graduates. Stanford Graduate School of Business, in the heart of Silicon Valley, saw more of their graduates flock to technology companies for the first time this year -- 32 percent of the 2013 class took tech jobs. That is more than double the percent of graduates just two years ago. Twenty six percent of the 2013 class went into finance, down from 36 percent two years ago. Furthermore, Business Insider noted that a recent survey showed that MBAs ranked tech companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon among their ideal employers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there is more behind this recent shift than the lingering effects of the financial crisis and Wall Street's growing stigma. While lavish perks and the laid back culture at tech companies might tempt b-school graduates, what seems to really matter is the work they are doing. Josiah Filler, a recent Stanford graduate who left management consulting for business development, told The Wall Street Journal that he wanted to do something more meaningful.

"In consulting, you're always a few steps removed from the end product and decisions," he said. "I was seeking to be an operator and make [an] impact." Filler went on to say, "If I'm going to be putting hours and hours in, I might as well be doing that for something I'm passionate about."

In The Daily Free Press, Joe Benoit, a sophomore at Boston University's School of Management, agreed, saying that the trend reflects an overall shift in business student ethics. SMG senior Stephanie Stanczyk told The Daily Free Press, "Our generation is trying to look for a more sustainable future, and they want to actually be part of a community rather than see business as just for profit."

Technology companies need MBA graduates too, though. Madison Wetter, a senior at SMG, told The Daily Free Press that technology has become increasingly relevant to today's business industry.

"Whether you're specifically a software company or specifically working with IT or whether you're in the financial industry, I think that technology affects you in one way or another," said Wetter.

Indeed, according to The Wall Street Journal, because of fast-paced environments and rapid growth, tech companies need financial analysts, product managers and other business-minded professionals to help lead operations. Amazon, for example, hired almost 40 percent more MBA grads from this year's class than it did last year.

Banks, however, have not given up. According to The Wall Street Journal, some have begun revamping their images in order to appeal to the new generation of MBA grads. Goldman Sachs, for instance, is trying to reduce the number of weekend hours that junior staffers work to alleviate students' concerns about work-life balance.

Compiled by Heidi M. Agustin


"Elite Grads in Business Flock to Tech," online.wsj.com, November 5, 2013, Melissa Korn, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303661404579180152676790032

"MBA graduates more likely to enter tech. sector than finance, study suggests," dailyfreepress.com, November 6, 2013, Trisha Thadani, http://dailyfreepress.com/2013/11/06/mba-graduates-more-likely-to-enter-tech-sector-than-finance-study-suggests/

"Record Numbers Of Elite MBAs Are Ditching Finance For Tech," businessinsider.com, November 6, 2013, Max Nisen, http://www.businessinsider.com/mbas-heading-to-tech-jobs-2013-11

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