Finance jobs are notoriously competitive. Considering the high demand, employers can be picky with new hires. Recently, Wall Street and Corporate America have shown a willingness to hire, and pay up for, MBA graduates. These professionals have demonstrated the ambition to improve their careers while learning the necessary business skills for today’s financial jobs.
We highlight three companies that are actively hiring professionals with these attributes.
Amazon is Hiring MBAs
When you think of companies that hire MBAs, Wall Street or consulting firms probably come to mind. You might be surprised to know the hottest destination for graduates of top MBA programs is not Goldman Sachs or Bain Capital-its Amazon.
The web retail giant recently snared 33 graduates from the University of Michigan’s prestigious Ross Business School, making Amazon the graduate’s top employer.1
After Amazon, nine of the next ten destination companies were in consulting, led by McKinsey at #2 and Deloitte at #3.2
Amazon operates in many different segments including e-commerce, cloud computing, Kindle, Amazon Web Services, even groceries. All these disparate divisions are inter-related, requiring broad leadership and business skills. This is why so many of today’s employers are recruiting MBAs.
Such graduate programs provide students with a wide variety of business skills from marketing and strategy to finance and operations management. Amazon certainly has plenty of tech talent but they are clearly beefing up their business talent to coordinate efforts.
The Seattle-based e-retailer has nearly 700 job openings in finance and accounting, many for finance managers.3 These finance managers develop policies that contribute to firm profitability and competitive position. These professionals are also responsible for their group’s financial reporting duties and forecasting. Solid communication skills are crucial, as the manager will be overseeing a team while also recruiting new talent. The experience working in groups and the variety of subject material is what makes MBA graduates so valuable.
Not surprisingly, the preferred qualifications listed for finance manager include an MBA and/or a professional designation such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.4
The compensation for such managers reveals how important Amazon believes they are to the company’s mission. According to Glassdoor, finance managers at Amazon enjoy an average salary of just over $120,000 plus an approximate $60,000 bonus (3/4 of which is in the form of stock and options).5 Once the shares fully vest, they can add considerably to total compensation.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Amazon’s stock will continue its meteoric rise. The stock has jumped to a recent price of $850 per share, up from roughly $60 at the financial crisis lows. As long as that persists, you can expect Amazon to remain a top choice among business school graduates.
Deloitte is Hiring MBAs
Consulting firms are some of the biggest employers of MBA graduates. As the largest management consulting firm in the world, it makes perfect sense that Deloitte actively recruits the best and brightest. New York-based Deloitte is a hot destination for recent MBA graduates. At Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, Deloitte is listed among the most popular destinations for the Class of 2016.4
Deloitte was also the #3 destination for Ross graduates behind Amazon and McKinsey.5
Often, MBA degree holders come in as ‘senior’ consultants, bypassing the entry-level ‘consultant’ all together. According to Glassdoor, Deloitte senior consultants typically earn a salary of $113,000 with total compensation above $120,000 when bonuses are included.6
While Deloitte has a reputation of being an accounting and audit specialist, they have made a major push into consulting. In fact, consulting comprises the largest share of Deloitte’s revenues, at over 48%.7
Currently, there are nearly 1600 openings for management consultants at Deloitte, where the preferred qualifications include an MBA degree.8 It appears the company is just as likely to hire MBAs as CPAs.
Why do consulting companies like to hire MBAs? Consultants generally have strong academic backgrounds or experience in a certain field. They also have demonstrated leadership abilities, professionalism and problem solving skills. Maybe most important is the ability to work well in teams.
All of these attributes will be put to the test as a consultant. The most important reason might be that their customers appreciate the real world insight that MBA graduates provide.
Combining an MBA with professional experience produces employees with broader business skills and the ability to think strategically. Many MBA programs end with a Capstone student project dealing with business strategy. Sometimes the project is done for a local company and the students get the opportunity to interact with management in the real world, gaining invaluable experience while also getting a leg up on their competition.
JP Morgan is Hiring MBAs
Besides consulting, Wall Street is the other main employer of MBA graduates. Employers are comfortable knowing these new recruits have already learned basic financial skills like capital budgeting, valuation, accounting and economics. No matter what department the professional ends up in, they should demonstrate a familiarity with the operations. And for candidates without an undergraduate degree in business or finance, it is essential.
These new recruits are paid well for these skills. Starting salaries for new MBAs at JP Morgan is roughly $100,000 according to a CNN Money article.9 But they’d better be ready to put in some serious hours because these new analysts will do most of the grunt work, at least early on.
While the skills learned in these business programs are valuable, another benefit to hiring MBAs is access to their contacts. Over time, many MBA graduates drift into higher management and open up a world of new business ventures and partnership opportunities. This is one reason investment banking departments actively recruit MBAs.
This is especially true for prospects from top business schools such as Notre Dame’s Mendoza, New York University’s Stern and Johns Hopkins’ Carey School of Business. At Johns Hopkins’ Carey School of Business, JP Morgan was among the top destination for MBA grads along with commercial banking giant Wells Fargo.
This recruitment gives JP Morgan a foot in the door for business deals. The strategy is working- in 2015 JP Morgan raised more equity capital for customers than any other bank in North America.10 They were also #1 in debt offerings.11
It’s not just top business schools that JP Morgan recruits from-they actively recruit U.S. veterans.
These candidates have many of the traits employers looking for-comfortable working in teams, the ability to work in high-pressure environments and experience with subordinates reporting to them.
When veterans combine the skills they’ve already cultivated in the field with the analytical and business skills of an MBA program, they become a valuable asset on the fast track to a managerial role. Veterans also have a number of tuition assistance programs which can defray the costs of pursuing their MBA.