The job outlook for 2014 MBAs keen on working in the financial sector is worrisome, according to Michigan State University‘s new survey of 6,500 employers—the largest of its kind conducted in the United States for the college labor market.
Phil Gardner, an economist and director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, predicts hiring for new MBAs will drop 25% over 2013 figures due in large part to widespread layoffs in the banking industry. As banks eliminate positions in mortgage units and other departments, Gardner says we can expect to see ripple effects in areas such as real estate and underwriting.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There’s good news for other sectors seeing a hiring increase: manufacturing reports gains of 23%, nonprofits are up 11%, education is up 9% and retail is up 2%. MBAs may also be in high demand in the computer science and programming sectors, where more graduates are expected to be hired, the report says.
BusinessBecause checked in with students at top U.S. MBA programs set to graduate in the spring, and found the general mood to be optimistic despite the gloomy employment predictions.
Eric Yang, a second-year MBA student at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, says, “I can say that coming from a top-rated MBA program, there is no major concern that my classmates and I will not find a job; we know the value of the Georgetown MBA and employers know that as well.”
Meanwhile, Alejandro Correa at Chicago Booth School of Business expresses only mild concern about the outlook for those with their hearts set on finance jobs. “But I would argue that for the most part the people from top-ten schools find a way to get into the field they want. I have seen a lot of interest for management consulting this season,” he adds.
Despite the unsettling forecast for this year’s grads, Gardner predicts the labor market for college graduates will continue to improve. “Several years of potential double-digit expansion may be in our immediate future,” he says, noting that “The best jobs will go to the graduates who know where they want to go, know how to get there and have a network of professional relationships they can tap for assistance with their job search.”