A Wealth of Careers: MBAs in London | TopMBA.com

A Wealth of Careers: MBAs in London

By QS Contributor

Updated July 19, 2014 Updated July 19, 2014

As one of the globe’s business hubs, studying an MBA in London has always been a tempting option amongst business school applicants. However, with sensational newspaper headlines claiming an end to the City’s global financial importance, TopMBA.com takes a look at the career options for MBAs in London.

An MBA has long been considered the ticket to a high-flying career in London’s financial and consulting sectors.

While this is often still the case, even with the vast changes in the City’s financial sector over the past few years, the MBA degree in London (and anywhere else for that matter) has and always will give a holistic view of business management, offering graduates the opportunity to pursue careers in many different sectors.

“We support our MBA students in the pursuit of any sector they feel passionate about, have researched thoroughly and understand the entry requirements to, including the financial sector where we have seen the shift of focus to asset management and private banking,” explains Sarah Juillet, director of postgraduate careers at Cass Business School, based near London’s Barbican.

MBA jobs in London: the traditonal and the not-so-traditional

“However there is certainly an increasing trend that MBA students will consider a number of career options and will explore their motivations for working in a certain industry or role.

“Where historically many MBAs felt that financial services would be an obvious choice post-study, this new approach increases the variety of career options open to an MBA to create the right career path for the individual.”

In fact, with a strong emphasis on diversification of industry in London, business schools in and around the capital have witnessed many of London's MBA graduates entering new growth sectors that might not have been an option for executives a decade or so ago.

Dr Steve Seymour, director of MBA programmes at Ashridge Business School in Berkhamsted (within a short commute of London) gives an overview of some of the long-standing and fast-growing industries available for MBA graduates in London: “there are opportunities or potential in a wide range of markets, including financial services, telecoms, IT, media and advertising, hospitality, retail, education, tourism, Olympics and consulting.

"Another option is Silicon Roundabout where the tech companies are thriving.”

Perhaps it is the wide range of industry present in the capital that is the reason why the most recent QS TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends Report found the UK to be the fifth highest country in the world for MBA demand among employers.

The report, which surveyed over 12,000 organisations around the world found a 34% increase in UK demand for MBAs by mid-2011, with a further 13% increase predicted by mid-2012.

MBAs and London's Silicon Roundabout

“TMT [telecoms, media and technology] is the biggest recent growth story with a number of firms expanding from the US, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, coupled with the growth of the Silicon Roundabout in East London,” says David Morris, senior sector manager of TMT at London Business School in Regent’s Park.

“As more new companies launch and are funded by the ecosystem of VCs and larger companies such as Google, student interest in start-ups and/or entrepreneurship is also growing.”

As Morris mentions, increasingly it is the area of innovation and entrepreneurship that both MBAs and businesses in the City are focussing their attention on.

“MBA graduates come from and go into a very diverse range of sectors; for example nursing, the not-for-profit sector, and increasingly the start-up sector,” points out Sharon Bamford, chief executive at the London-based MBA accrediting body the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

“In a recent study, both academics and students ranked entrepreneurship and innovation in their top three priorities for the MBA. Thus, the ambition, mindset and skills of MBA graduates and alumni can add a huge amount to existing and future businesses in London.”

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in July 2014

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