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MBA Jobs: Top Employers at US Business Schools

Top employers at US business schools

If you’re trying to draw up a target list of the top business schools you’re most interested in applying to, it’s highly advisable to explore the career paths taken by a school’s most recent MBA cohorts.

Each year, top business schools in the US release employment reports that relate to their latest graduating cohort. From these, you can gain a valuable insight into the MBA jobs landscape from the perspective of a particular school – the industries graduates are joining and the average salaries they achieve when they get there. (You can find more on the subject of employment reports in our Career Trends section).

Which companies do graduates of top business schools join?

Many schools in the US also provide an annual list of their top employers – the companies who provide the largest source of MBA jobs for students in a given cohort. These lists - which can be found either in schools’ aforementioned employment reports or in a separate recruitment guide – should make interesting reading for any prospective student, but above all, for those who already have their sights set on securing MBA jobs at specific companies.

For this reason, TopMBA.com has taken the liberty of surveying the top business schools in the US – according to the QS Global Business Schools Report 2014/15 - for their top employers (where this information is reported by the school) with our findings summarized below:

*Please note that class sizes vary between business schools and, as such, so do recruitment numbers*

Top employers at Chicago Booth

Chicago Booth's top employers

Source: Chicago Booth

At Chicago Booth, some of the biggest names in multinational consultancy led the way for MBA jobs offered to those graduating in 2014. McKinsey’s 40 hires represented just over 8% of the total cohort. However, Amazon’s nine and 10 hires in the past two years are a notable rise on 2012, when the company didn’t meet the minimum of four MBA hires required for inclusion in Chicago Booth’s top employers list. 

Top employers at Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School's top employers

Source: Columbia Business School

At Columbia Business School, we again see consulting companies as the largest source of MBA jobs. However, the increasing presence of technology companies in the hiring market is seen, in this instance, with Google – a company which has upped their hires from Columbia by five in each of the past two years. 

Columbia Business School makes a point of saying that its listings of top employers extends to sponsored students who return to their parent companies on completing their MBA. This is worth bearing in mind. In 2012, for example, this information showed that more than half of the 22 graduates joining the Boston Consulting Group were sponsored students, whereas all 15 graduates taking MBA jobs at Goldman Sachs were new hires.

Top employers at Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management's top employers

Source: Kellogg School of Management

There are three technology firms in the Kellogg School’s 10 top employers from the MBA class of 2014, of which Apple is the currently closest to catching the consulting firms at the top of the table. There was also an interesting ramp in hiring from consumer products firm, Kraft Foods. Kraft’s headquarters are not far from the Kellogg School and earlier this year the firm announced its intention to merge with Heinz – something that the companies say will create the world's fifth-largest food and beverage company.

Incidentally, the Kellogg School’s latest employment report excludes any sponsored students and focuses solely on new hires, as opposed to in 2013 and 2012 when the former were also included.   

Top employers at Michigan Ross School of Business

Michigan Ross School of Business top employers

Source: Michigan Ross recruiters guides, 2012, 2013 & 2014

In each of the last three cases, McKinsey headed the list of employers last year for the volume of MBA jobs given to graduates of top business schools in the US. However, at Michigan Ross, the multinational consultancy firm is relegated to third place with technology giant, Amazon, holding sway instead. At first glance, this doesn’t appear to be a one-off as (among these 10 companies) Amazon also hired the second highest number of graduates in 2013 and equaled the number hired by McKinsey in 2012.

Further evidence of Michigan Ross’s relationship to the tech industry can be seen in the numbers joining Dell (twice as many in 2014 as in 2013) and Microsoft (steady hiring in each of the past three years).   

Top employers at UCLA Anderson

UCLA Anderson's top employers

Source: UCLA Anderson

The employment reports at UCLA Anderson differ from what we’ve seen thus far in the above examples, in that they employ ranges of numbers rather than precise figures. This makes it difficult to deduce a top 10. Instead, employers making the school’s top two ranges last year are shown above with their respective ranges from the year previous.

From this, one can see that Deloitte is the only firm to have taken on 15 or more graduates in each year. There was also a notable rise in hiring from PwC. Among technology firms, meanwhile, Google and Microsoft both increased their numbers last year, but Amazon dropped down a category. Toy manufacturers, Mattel and entertainment giant, Disney, both have headquarters in California which may go some way in explaining the links these recruiters enjoy to graduates of the Los Angeles-based school.

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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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