Survey Finds MBA Student Interest In Employment At Consulting Firms Surpasses Bulge Bracket Banks

Fifth Annual Survey Shows Investment Banks Still Popular Choice, But Employment Priorities Shifting

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bulge bracket investment banking is no longer the number one career choice of MBA students and recent graduates. That's a key finding of the fifth annual employment survey conducted by Training The Street (TTS), which also suggests that consulting is now the top career pick for MBA students and recent graduates.  TTS is a leading corporate training provider for Wall Street firms, consulting firms, law firms and top-tier business schools. 

Twenty-five percent of survey respondents say that they would prefer working at consulting firms compared to 22% who prefer bulge bracket banks. Interest in consulting firms increased 6% from last year's survey.  

Consulting firms are also recruiting aggressively as 48% of survey respondents say consultants actively recruited them. This marked a 14% rise in active recruitment from consulting firms compared to last year's survey. MBA students reported a 7% drop in active recruitment by bulge bracket banks as those institutions actively recruited 41% of respondents. Only 15% responded that they were approached by startups, which is also a 7% drop from 2013. Only 5% of respondents chose startups as their top career choice.

"This year's survey reflects the increased demand for training workshops tailored to consulting skills. More students are finding the need to acquire core technical skills for various financial career paths on and off Wall Street," said Scott Rostan, CEO and Founder of Training The Street. "Regardless of their top choice, MBA graduates are still expressing optimism in their career prospects and are reporting higher starting salaries as well."

When asked about their job prospects after school, 60% of MBA students say they are very optimistic, a 12% increase from last year, while 29% say they are somewhat optimistic. Only 4% of respondents are somewhat or very pessimistic.

In terms of salary, 48% of those with job offers are receiving starting salaries between $100,000 and $125,000. Twenty-six percent report a salary of more than $125,000, marking a 17% increase in the number of graduates entering that top-tier salary range from last year.

"Salaries have increased for the top candidates working as first year associates as banks have come under pressure to reduce their bonuses. Banks will continue to be an attractive place of employment for MBAs as long as their total compensation remains competitive and they create a better work-life balance that this new generation of bankers is seeking," added Rostan.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 34% of respondents say that teamwork was considered by employers to be the most relevant skill when receiving an offer. Industry expertise came in second at 18%.
  • New York was the top location choice for US-based employment at 40%, while San Francisco/Menlo Park came in at second at 22%, and Chicago in third at 10%.
  • 75% of the survey respondents were male, and 88% were between the ages of 26-34.

About Training The Street

Training The Street (TTS) is the world's leading provider of instructor-led courses in financial modeling and corporate valuation training to Wall Street investment banks, federal government agencies, law firms, business schools, and top colleges. With offices in the financial hubs across the U.S., as well as an office in London and India, TTS boasts a deep field of expert instructors and extensive practical experience.  Currently, TTS is offering live training programs to interns, analysts and associates at more than 50 banks and corporate businesses, including Wall Street's ten largest banks, as well the 20 highest ranked MBA programs in the nation.

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