MBA graduates choose leadership over prestige

MBA graduates choose leadership over prestige


The next generation of MBA graduates chooses leadership opportunities over prestige, Universum Survey finds.

Universum Global, the Employer Brand Research Firm, released its 2013 ranking of the IDEAL™ Employers for MBA students on June 6th. Based on a survey of nearly 4,000 MBA candidates, the IDEAL rankings show student sentiment within different industries, preferred employers and trends of interest.

The Banking industry’s appeal continues to decline

The Banking industry has seen a steady decline in the rankings since 2009, likely due to bad press around the failing markets and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The 2013 rankings saw just one bank, Goldman Sachs; hang on to its coveted Top 10 spot – no other bank made the Top 10. Of the students who still consider banking a top industry, one of the top three employer attributes attracting them is prestige. In contrast, the most preferred industry for MBA students, Management and Strategy Consulting, sees prestige as the 10th most important attribute, behind others such as leadership opportunities, a creative and dynamic work environment, and challenging work.

Consulting secures the top industry title

Management and Strategy Consulting is the top industry of choice for MBA students and elite strategy consulting firms McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group have all retained their Top 10 positions this year, but broader professional services firms are gaining ground.
“What is interesting as you look at the data is that the elite strategy consulting firms have stayed stable or decreased in the rankings; however, other professional services and consulting firms (Deloitte, IBM, PWC, Accenture) have all risen in the rankings,” said Melissa Murray Bailey, Universum President of the Americas. “As leadership opportunities are one of the key attributes attracting MBA students to this industry, this trend could be a result of the larger firms’ concerted focus on offering a greater variety of career paths than before.”

Strong consumer brands make an impact

Apple‘s MBA ranking stayed steady at #3 this year and Amazon was right behind after having jumped two ranks from #6 to #4. Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, LVMH, and Unilever also featured within the 2013 Top 30. Similar to Management and Strategy Consulting, the attributes attracting MBA students to Consumer Goods (the second most preferred industry) are leaders who support development, leadership opportunities and a creative and dynamic work environment. While all of the Top 30 consumer goods organizations obviously have strong consumer brands, this doesn’t always correlate with a strong employer brand.
“A strong consumer brand is a blessing and a challenge when it comes to managing an employer brand,” advised Bailey. “I would go as far as to say that when a company has a strong consumer brand, it needs to work even harder to make its employer brand known to potential candidates. Otherwise, there is the risk of disappointment and high turnover when students have jumped to the wrong conclusions based on what they know about an employer brand. The two can and should complement each other, but the messaging needs to be focused and deliberate to ensure success.”

Top 10 Ideal Employers for MBA students:

1. Google
2. McKinsey & Company
3. Apple
4. Amazon
5. The Boston Consulting Group
6. Bain and Company
7. Nike
8. Walt Disney
9. Deloitte
10. Goldman Sachs.

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Contact: Jonas Barck
Telephone:+1 858.405.5711
E-mail: jonas.barck@universumusa.com
SOURCE Universum