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Study: MBA Recruiting Down a Second Year

In financial services, 32 percent of surveyed schools said MBA recruiting was down

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

In financial services, 32 percent of surveyed schools said MBA recruiting was down

For the second consecutive year, fewer business schools are reporting an increase in MBA recruiting activity and available jobs, new research shows, as the market for MBA talent returns to normal following its dramatic post-crash recovery of 2010.

In all, 45 percent of surveyed business schools say they’ve experienced an increase in on-campus recruiting this year, down from 70 percent in 2011 and 76 percent in 2010, according to a study from MBA Career Services Council. Job postings were up at 58 percent of schools, compared with 68 percent in 2011 and 86 percent in 2010. The fact that just 15 percent of the surveyed schools reported a decrease in recruiting suggests that the market for MBA talent is stabilizing, says Mark Peterson, president of the MBA CSC and director of graduate business career services at Iowa State University.

“The business schools report overall solid recruitment for full-time MBA positions and MBA internships this year, with over three-quarters of the schools reporting stable or increased on-campus recruiting,” Peterson said in a statement. “These results are encouraging signs that this year’s graduating class will see solid employment performance.”

The throttling back on recruiting was felt mainly in financial services—in which 32 percent of surveyed schools said recruiting was down—and in media and entertainment, which experienced a 25 percent drop. Consulting and technology were the strongest industries, with about 60 percent of schools reporting an increase.

The findings are based on a survey of 76 predominantly North American business schools. Most of the schools that responded to the survey, 62 percent, are public institutions.

On the internship recruiting front, 50 percent of the surveyed schools reported an increase in on-campus recruiting, up from 46 percent in 2011, but 19 percent of the schools indicated that it was “too soon to tell.” Fifty-three percent of the surveyed schools reported an increase in internship postings, up from 46 percent a year ago, but 21 percent said it was too soon to tell.

Consulting and technology were the strongest industries for internship recruiting, with more than half of all schools reporting an increase. Government, real estate, financial services, and manufacturing were the weakest, with more than 20 percent of all schools reporting a decrease.

Join the discussion on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forum, visit us on Facebook, and follow @BWbschools on Twitter.

Lavelle is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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