MBAs going into the financial sector still favour investment banking over anything else, despite the fact that the banking's appeal continues to wane among business school graduates. However, the buy-side is an increasingly attractive option - private equity has long been a destination for MBAs, but hedge funds are upping their graduate recruitment and asset managers are also taking on an increasing number of business school graduates.
Assuming you have ambitions to work on the buy-side, which business school is most likely to offer a route in? Our figures suggest that those schools with existing deep relationships with investment banks - namely, Ivy League universities in the U.S, London Business School in the UK and INSEAD and HEC in Europe and Asia - are also the most likely to land you a job on the buy-side.
The dominance of U.S. schools across the top ten of our rankings should not come as a surprise. Aside from the prestige associated with these business schools, financial services organisations in the U.S. have continued to hire in plentiful numbers of MBAs, while those in Europe prefer to train up fresh graduates than hire in expensive MBAs.
At New York University - Stern, for example, the U.S. college where the largest proportion of MBA graduates go into finance, 28% of the class of 2015 went into investment banking. At London Business School, which accounts for the lion's share of City MBA hires, 7% went into banking and the 9% ended up in private equity, according to the latest employment reports.
Our own rankings look into the eFinancialCareers CV database, which has 1.4m resumes globally, to find out which business school graduates now work in hedge funds, private equity or asset management. We look at a combination of graduates from a particular school in the overall population of MBAs within those sectors and the proportion of graduates from that school now working within a hedge fund, private equity or asset management firm.
It is also, it should be noted, very difficult to get into a hedge fund with an MBA and only a tiny proportion of business school graduates end up in the sector. At NY Stern, for example, just 0.9% of the class of 2016 ended up in a hedge fund. Our rankings reflect this relative difficulty – a greater weighting is given to the percentage of graduates working in hedge funds, followed by those who have gained a job in private equity and finally asset management, which are more active recruiters of MBAs directly from school.
These rankings show one thing - the likelihood of getting your foot in the door at a hedge fund, private equity firm or asset manager. They do not show earning potential or career progression, but merely your employability in these sectors after securing an MBA.
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