Or likely at most top American MBA programs over the past five years. This post focuses on Kellogg mainly because their employment reports are detailed enough on this particular dimension to do the analysis. They’re also a solid general management program which attracts employers of all stripes. They continue to send graduates into the traditional fields of finance and consumer products (long a Kellogg specialty) as well as consulting (the biggest chunk of students) and ever increasingly, tech.
So how have things been changing?
When you’re doing your research on a school, then you hopefully already know that a treasure trove of information is available in the employment reports. When you see bschool as a process — you come in with one career, you go through a system of kneading and molding and shaping, you get spit out the other side in a new career — then it’s important you look at not only the data about the inputs to that process (class profile, which generically tells you if you’re in range of the typical student pattern) but also the outputs.
If you go to Kellogg, will you land in a place you will be happy with?
One useful way to start guessing at that answer is to look at the places that those who’ve gone before have landed.
Most people look only at the most recently available employment report, and that’s totally valid. You don’t necessarily need to do a deep dive. But sometimes EssaySnark geeks out on this stuff and we end up with posts like this one looking at Amazon recruiting at places like Duke and Ross or this one on GMAT scores at top schools, through the lens of Darden.
Today we’ll share with you some data from five years of Kellogg recruiting that may offer some interesting insights.
|Class of 2018 as interns||23%||26%||14%||10%||9%|
|Class of 2017 graduates||33%||25%||13%||12%||6%|
|Class of 2017 as interns||25%||21%||15%||13%||8%|
|Class of 2016 graduates||33%||22%||13%||14%||7%|
|Class of 2016 as interns||24%||20%||14%||16%||8%|
|Class of 2015 graduates||35%||15%||19%||12%||5%|
|Class of 2015 as interns||24%||15%||19%||15%||8%|
|Class of 2013 graduates||36%||12%||20%||10%||4%|
|Class of 2013 as interns||26%||14%||21%||13%||5%|
What do you notice?
The obvious trend is that plenty of students end up in consulting without doing an internship in consulting. The inverse of that is that a certain number do finance internships but then don’t go to finance when they graduate. They probably end up in consulting, right?
There’s a lot of guesses you can make when looking at the internship -> graduate numbers. This is not a view of the data that we’ve seen the schools actively promote or discuss, though we’re certain that their career services are well aware of the trends.
And when you think about it, it’s pretty obvious, right? If you want to land a post-MBA job in finance then that industry is much more rigid in terms of needing a basic skillset to begin with, and the internship is the feeder into that position. This is one reason why, for example, the Columbia J-Term is not the best for career switchers interested in certain career destinations. That summer internship is really valuable, both in terms of learning skills, but also vetting skills and establishing relationships.
The other causal factor at play more broadly is our cultural adoration of tech that’s manifest in the number of MBA students who are flocking to Silicon Valley. Used to be, Wall Street was where it’s at, but as you know, things have changed. About ten years ago, it wasn’t even that easy to find jobs in tech out of bschool; many entrepreneurs eschewed the MBA and mocked the buttoned-up consultant types (reminiscent of Jared on Silicon Valley) and they certainly weren’t sending their recruiters to campus. That’s obviously changed, fairly dramatically in such a short time — to the extent that trend-watchers have gotten nervous. Back in 2013, Marc Andreesen said in a talk at Stanford that the number of MBA grads stampeding to tech is a sign of a bubble. Elon Musk used to speak disparagingly about MBAs and refused to hire them; now we’ve heard that Michigan Ross and certain other schools may have lured Tesla recruiters onto their campuses. Things change.
We spent quite a bit of time looking at the intern / graduate data pairings for each successive class, and also looking at graduating class from the earliest year compared to the most recent. One thing stands out as remarkably consistent: The consulting data. The number of people who land internships in consulting has stayed steady at around 25% of the class of over five years, and similarly, about 35% of the graduating class ends up in consulting. This level of consistency may not hold across the board at all other schools but it might. Consulting is and has been the quintessentially ideal post-MBA goal for what an MBA can prep you for. At the same time, there’s a gazillion different types of consulting and consultants lumped together in that one industry, and if we had visibility into the underlying dataset then we’re betting there have been visible shifts in the type of opportunities that all the MBA students are attaining today, compared to what this consulting category contained in the past.
Similar to that, another point, which is a guess but we’re betting it’s accurate: The moderate climb in healthcare placement is not necessarily because of an increased interest in healthcare delivery (working with doctors in hospitals and other point-of-care facilities). Instead, we’re betting that a lot of that is health tech.
If you go to work for FitBit, are you going to categorize that as a tech firm? Or as a healthcare products company? You can google “is fitbit a healthcare company” if you’re curious about discussions in industry about their strategy and what problems they’re trying to solve.
The employment data at all schools is self-reported by the students, and it’s up to them to choose the industry and sector from dropdown fields on the form that Career Services sends them to fill out. If you just accepted a job at a company where the recruiters and hiring managers were gushing over how much it’s going to change healthcare, then that’s what you’re going to identify it as. So these data may hide many details like that beneath the surface.
Heck, almost any firm in any industry could be categorized as tech these days! And most tech firms with the exception of the classics like Microsoft or SAP could be categorized in some other industry entirely.
This may have little practical implication to you, except as a reminder to always ask yourself questions when you see any dataset, and try to figure out what’s behind the numbers being reported. And, that your task for school research should go beyond just the surface.
Maybe now that you’ve seen these data and reflected on them, you will have questions of your own, and when you’re at that Kellogg info session this summer, you can raise your hand and ask them. (Provided they’re relevant to the room overall!) Or if you’re the shy type, then you can sit in the back and listen, and when you hear some other person in the room ask a question about five-year trends and the shifts in finance to tech in the recruitment numbers, then you can go up to her after the event and say, “Hey, I read EssaySnark too!” 😉