BOSTON—Harvard Business School has released career data for the MBA Class of 2015 revealing students’ post-graduation career plans. The data show that these 915 students continue to follow recent trends seen at the School, including an increasing interest in the technology and entrepreneurship sectors. Ninety-four percent of these students received job offers, and 91 percent accepted offers three months after receiving their diploma.
The number accepting positions in the technology sector has reached 20 percent — a level not seen since the last tech boom with the Classes of 1999 and 2000. This increase appears to be driven by the software segment, but equipment and hardware also rose marginally. According to Kristen Fitzpatrick (MBA 2003), director of the School’s Career & Professional Development Office (CPD), “It’s not just the big companies that hired this year. Students also accepted jobs at many smaller firms in this space.”
The percentage of graduates seeking opportunities within entrepreneurship, including founders and those that accepted offers from startups, also rose. Students who accepted offers from startups represent 9 percent of those who sought and accepted a full-time, MBA-level position after graduation. This is up from 5 percent for the Class of 2014. The vast majority of these startups are based in the United States, with half located in the Northeast and 33 percent on the West Coast, predominantly in the Bay Area. “Over one-third of the startups from which students accepted offers are in the technology sector and another third in financial services,” said Fitzpatrick. “While consumer products is still a small group, we have seen it grow year-over-year as well.”
The percentage of students founding their own business also grew, from 8 percent for the Class of 2014 to 9 percent for last year’s graduating class. As is the case with students joining a startup, technology and financial services dominate among founders in terms of industry, but consumer products is also seeing growth.
Students accepting full-time opportunities saw an increase in the median base salary from $125,000 to $130,000 this year. The increase in compensation is driven by many industries, not just one,” Fitzpatrick explained, “including consulting, manufacturing, retail, services, technology, and some financial services.” All these sectors saw their median base salaries jump by at least $5,000.
The mission of Harvard Business School’s Career & Professional Development Office is to assist both HBS students and alumni in the lifelong realization of their unique career visions. “We urge students in particular to think hard about the type of work they find meaningful,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our team facilitates many ways for them to engage with organizations in a formal recruiting process. Beyond that, we also support their pursuit of opportunities at organizations they discover via their own networking efforts. The journey of finding the right job after graduation helps build lifelong skills that will be valuable for pursuing career opportunities five, ten, and even twenty years after graduation.”