The IESE MBA: Class of 2015 Employment Report

IESE MBA employment report analysis

The vast majority of graduates from the latest IESE MBA class at the University of Navarra have accepted post-MBA jobs away from the program’s base in Barcelona and outside of Spain altogether, according to the school’s new employment report.

Just 22% of the IESE MBA class of 2015 will stay on to work full time in Spain, with 78% accepting positions overseas. IESE Business School does tend to attract high proportions of international students, however, with the latest class profile information indicating that 85% of students are classified as international students. So, where will the latest IESE MBA graduates be working?

A global spread of MBA jobs for a global class

Approximately a third of the class of 2015 may not be taking MBA jobs in Spain, but will remain in Europe – meaning that, all told, a little over half of the class has opted to work somewhere in Europe. The UK, Germany and Switzerland are the three most popular European destinations away from Spain, accounting for the job locations of 11.5%, 8% and 3.5% of the latest cohort.

One in five class members, meanwhile, will work in Asia-Pacific – a reflection perhaps of the class of 2015 proportion whose nationality (including dual nationality) lies in the region (26%). Japan is the most popular destination here, with just under one in ten class members accepting jobs in the country, with South Korea and India accounting for around 5 and 4%, respectively.

The 13% class proportion with North American nationality, however, is more than double the 6% number taking MBA jobs in the region, suggesting that the program is, as you might expect, more often used as a route into careers in Europe and beyond for those who hail from the US or Canada. Conversely, the attraction for those on the IESE MBA who hail from Latin America to obtain the qualification to increase career opportunities back in their home region appears higher. Among the class of 2015, 13% took jobs in the region, not far off the 16% number holding nationality there. Brazil and Chile proved to be the region’s two most popular graduate destinations.

19% of IESE MBA graduates complete a ‘triple-switch’ in career

Of course, any assumption that overseas job locations are more likely to be taken by those who originate from these nations is a loose one. The new IESE MBA report holds that 37% of the class have now changed their location of employment with the degree. Changing industry or job function were even more common outcomes – 56% reported a change to function and 67% a change of industry. Impressively, 19% managed to do what is frequently cited as a difficult undertaking and change all three of these employment aspects at one fell swoop. The report also indicates that 65% of accepted job positions stem from the school’s provision of career services, while 19% come from a student’s own networking and contacts. A sizeable 6% of the class said they were starting their own company rather than seeking a new full-time opportunity, a figure that would have been high enough for IESE to land a spot among Europe’s leading schools for fostering entrepreneurship on the basis on last year’s MBA ROI report for the region. 

In terms of industry, both consulting and finance attracted more IESE MBA graduates this year than they did among the class of 2014. Consulting is again the most popular destination, taking 29% of the class (up from 23% in 2014), ahead of the 22% (up from 18%) who have chosen to accept MBA jobs in the finance industry. This comes despite the fact that as many as 45% of the class previously held experience in the financial services, while only 12% came with prior consulting experience. The difference comes from career switchers – fewer than a quarter of those who accepted jobs in finance 23% were switching from a different industry, whereas 51% of those taking jobs in consulting were leaving another industry behind them.

Outside of these principal domains of MBA hiring, e-commerce has proven to be the most popular industry destination, taking 11% of the class as a whole, ahead of healthcare’s 6% and the 4% taking MBA jobs in information technology.

MBA salary indications for the class of 2015

The MBA salary average (base level) attracted by the IESE MBA class of 2015 is €84,732 (c. US$94,000); a healthy rise on the €72,475 figure reported a year ago. Last year, the highest MBA salary average was to be found among offers made by employers in Europe (outside Spain), but this year’s equivalent figure is outweighed by the smaller proportion of students journeying to either the US and Canada (6% of the class) or the Middle East and Africa (7% of the class).

Taking location out of the equation once more reveals that the average MBA salary in finance has now overtaken that of consulting. While the consulting average has increased from €79,646 to €90,834 (c. US$101,000), finance paychecks are up from €73,890 to €92,328 (c. US$103,000). This year’s average salary for all other sectors stands at €75,353 (c. US$84,000), with salaries in e-commerce seeing an increase from €77,409 to €78,822 (c. US$88,000), on average.

Still, with such a large variety of job destinations detailed in the report, there are some stark MBA salary highs and lows and this will have an effect on the overall average. The base salary in consulting, for instance, ranges from as little as €18,944 (c. US$21,000) to as much as €192,600 (c. US$214,000). The low here is under a function described as ‘General Management & Rotational Programs’ offered by an employer in Asia-Pacific while the high falls under ‘Consulting & Corporate Strategy’ and comes from an employer in the region of the Middle East and Africa.  

The new IESE MBA employment report relates to the 269 graduates of its class of 2015. Among those seeking new job opportunities on graduation, 91% had accepted a full-time offer within three months of completing their degree.

Looking to study an MBA in Spain? Check out TopMBA.com's country guide.

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Written by Tim Dhoul

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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