Where in the world to work - and what to do there, if you want to make money as a new MBA in financial services

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INSEAD students

INSEAD students, probably best off getting a private equity job in London (Photo credit: activefree)

Our attention has been drawn to the most recent jobs report from INSEAD, France's celebrated business school. The report pertains to 2011, so may be a little dated in view of recent events.  But given that INSEAD is somewhere from which investment banks and financial services firms hire many of their EMEA MBAs, it remains illuminating.

In the first place, INSEAD says more and more of its MBA students are going into private equity: 17% got jobs in the private equity sector last year. In the second place, banks' appetite for its MBAs has been holding up - after the downturn of 2008, the percentage of MBAs going into financial services recovered further in 2011 (see chart below). This corresponds to the message we're hearing from banks, who tell us they'd rather hire and retain their own junior people than buy out the heavily deferred bonuses of senior staff from elsewhere.

Percentage of INSEAD MBAs going into key employment sectors

Source: INSEAD

Finally, INSEAD says it's becoming much harder to leave an MBA course and go directly into a senior role in banking. Nowadays, says INSEAD, almost all are being hired as associates. Nine people went through all the hassle of the MBA only to be hired as analysts.

MBA pay

Most interesting, however, are INSEAD's MBA pay tables, which we're reproducing below. These show variously that: pay for new MBAs is highest in private equity, that pay for new MBAs in the City of London was still just about higher than anywhere else, but that pay for financial services MBAs in Singapore and Germany is catching up.

On the whole, it seems newly qualified MBAs were best off last year if they worked in private equity in London. This may not be the case in 2012.

INSEAD: MBA pay by business area:

 INSEAD: MBA pay by region: