Own Business Now Big Lure for Fresh MBA Graduates: Survey

Source: Times of India | March 17, 2014

NEW DELHI: Fresh B-school graduates are increasingly shunning the security of a steady job and striking out on their own. A worldwide survey of B-school alumni reveals that 45% of those who graduated between 2010 and 2013 preferred self-employment — that’s almost double the proportion of their seniors who opted to pursue their own dreams in the 2000-2009 period. The survey, conducted among nearly 21,000 alumni representing 132 institutions from 129 countries, covered batches from 1959 to 2013. It showed a steadily growing preference for self-employment among fresh graduates. In the 2000-2009 period, 25% of graduates opted for it while in the decade before that the figure was 14%. 

The survey was carried out by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which conducts the GMAT exam for admission to more than 6,000 graduate management programmes worldwide. 

The US remains the most preferred job location for alumni from B-schools worldwide with Chinese and Indians taking the lead. As many as 38% of Chinese graduates preferred to work in the US, while 23% of Indian B-schoolers landed up in that country. The survey revealed that a quarter of B-school alumni across the world don’t work within their own country. While almost all B-school graduates from the US (97%) are likely to work in their own country, a majority of the Chinese are likely to work overseas (52%). 

Canada leads the table for annual median salary at entry level with US$ 75,000, but it is the US which pays the highest mid, senior and executive-level salaries. The pay package for B-school alumni in India was among the lowest in the 18 countries listed in the survey. 

“This is a robust survey results in this debut effort from direct collaboration with 132 business schools in 29 countries. A fascinating highlight of this year’s alumni survey is the wide reach of salary data. Seeing earnings data by job level for graduates of business school who work in India is helpful information to consider in one’s career planning and expectations,” said Michelle Sparkman Renz, director, research communications, GMAC. 

As for B-school education, 77% of the alumni said it was financially rewarding. Old students also ensured that they keep in touch with the alma mater be it for mentoring scholars or for recruitment. Nearly 34% of recent alumni have kept contact with the faculty, while 28% attended alumni events. Around 43% of old students visited their alumni website, and an even higher 45% followed their B-school on social media. 

The survey also revealed a shifting preference in functional domain. Since 2000, finance and accounting has been the dominating sector, overtaking the tradition general management. Emerging trends show that marketing, sales and consulting are the new areas of aspiration.

TCS Insights: Business students are currently more inclined to start their own businesses around the world than in years prior. International experience will play a critical role to those looking to succeed in this pursuit. Those aspiring to do business in North America after they graduate should attempt to spend time studying there to develop a knowledge of the culture along with their network of contacts.