Articles from Fortune

The Job Market for MBAs Is the Best Since 2010...

Starting salaries are climbing, too. It took a while, but demand for MBAs has finally bounced back from the recession. A new study from the Graduate Management Admission Council says 88% of companies are planning to hire recent B-school grads this year. That’s a marked increase over last year’s 80%, and a huge jump — 33 percentage points — over 2010, a dismal year when B-schools saw what the report calls “a post-recession low.” Not only that, but salaries are recovering, too. Worldwide, more than half (54%) of companies say they’re sweetening starting pay for MBAs. U.S.-based employers plan to offer median salaries of $105,000, up a bit from $100,000 last year. GMAC’s researchers also asked about compensation for candidates with non-MBA master’s degrees. Tied for best paying: A master’s in data analytics and master’s in marketing, both with median starting salaries of $85,000. Drawn from two separate surveys of more than 2,000 employers worldwide, the study’s findings reflect the accelerating globalization of business in general, and the MBA job market in particular. For instance, 2016 B-school grads would be smart to make sure their passports are up to date, since about a third (30%) of companies hiring more MBAs this year plan to ship them out to “multiple world regions.” At the same time, American MBAs may find themselves facing more competition from B-school grads looking to move to the U.S. More than half (52%) of the companies surveyed said they either have definite intentions of hiring, or are willing to consider, “recent business school graduates who require additional legal documentation, such as work permits or visas.”…”Read full story:...

Your MBA In 300 Words

What’s the best management advice you’ve ever received? That was one question we asked Fortune 500 CEOs in our annual survey. Their answers were terse, but enlightening. We offer you the best, below. The most frequent theme was to focus on building the right team: “You are no better than your team.” “Surround yourself with great people, and great things happen!” “Hire the best people and give them the freedom to operate their business/dept., demand transparent communication and hold them accountable for the results.” Also frequently mentioned: “Listen”: “You have 2 ears and one mouth – use them in this ratio.” “Listen more then move with speed.” “Lead with questions, not answers.” The need to be ruthless in setting priorities was also a popular topic: “ Focus on one or two top priorities.” “Spend your time on the important, not the urgent.” “Focus your energy on a few things and delegate the rest.” And pacing was on the minds of many: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” “Nothing wrong with getting rich slowly.” “Don’t get too low with the lows or too high with the highs.” “Start small, fail fast, scale quickly.” The importance of values in an age of transparency was another recurrent theme: “Leadership is built on a foundation of values and only with strong values will our efforts to lead be sustainable and successful long-term.” “Always operate with integrity and excellence.” “Tell the truth.” “Do everything as if it will be on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.” And then there were a few random chestnuts: “Don’t screw up.” “Prepare, prepare, prepare!” “Company first, career second.” “Leadership is action, not position.” “Take your vitamins, you’ll need them.” Read full story:...

Admitted MBA’s Guide To Quitting Your Job...

Future B-schoolers: you’re a leader-in-training now; make sure to act like it. As the day you received your MBA acceptance letter recedes into memory, the actual work and logistics of preparing for school will replace the joy and relief of realizing you got into one (or more) of your target schools. Getting a graduate business degree entails a great deal of personal and professional change, some of it before you even arrive on campus. Most likely, you will be moving to a new place and leaving behind much of your pre-MBA life – including your employer. There are some relevant considerations for admitted MBAs wondering when to quit their job, along with several broader issues of timeline and prep work for business school. As for what to say to your boss, when to provide your notice, and how to behave at work as you prepare to leave, these are personal decisions that are highly dependent upon your particular circumstances (in general, though, the answers are: be nice to your boss, give two to four weeks notice, and behave like an adult). Breaking up is hard to do Like ending a relationship with your significant other, quitting your job can be awkward, intense, and in some cases even acrimonious. Unlike ending a relationship with your significant other, quitting your job doesn’t have to be unpleasant or involve any hurt feelings, though. Our friends at the Forte Foundation have a great post that covers some of the basic best practices for breaking the news to your manager, and there are plenty of good reasons to handle the process of leaving your job as delicately as possible. One of the biggest reasons is purely pragmatic: your recruiting prospects in business school and...

Is Business School Worth the Money?

Over time, MBAs earn $1 million more than non-MBAs, says a new study. If you’re on the fence about whether to spend the time and money to pursue a graduate business degree, a new report from the Graduate Management Admission Council could help you decide—including what kind of program might give you the biggest returns. Based on a survey of 14,279 alumni of 275 MBA programs worldwide, the study says these MBAs reported base salaries that totaled $1 million more over the two decades following graduation than if they had not gone to B-school. GMAC’s calculations show that, even taking into account the opportunity cost of two years of lost pay, people who graduate from two-year, full-time MBA programs recoup their investment, on average, in three-and-a-half years. Can’t take two years away from your job (and spend an average of $105,000 in tuition, in addition to lost pay)? That’s not necessarily a problem since, the report says,“graduates with lower investment costs tend to recoup their expenses more quickly and show a larger ROI.” For instance, MBAs who got their degree part-time, at an average tuition cost of $25,000, took just two-and-a-half years to earn back their investment, as did executive MBA grads who paid roughly the same tuition. After five years, the two groups reported total ROIs (including pay increases minus the cost of their degrees) of 221% and 491%, respectively. By contrast, because their MBAs cost so much more, the full-time two-year students’ five-year ROI was 132%—still not too shabby—and climbed to 445% only after an average of 10 years. In all, 89% of the alums said their MBAs have proved “professionally rewarding,” and 9 out of 10 said they’d go to B-school if they had it to...

How an MBA Admissions Committee Decides

It’s not just GMAT scores any more. On a chilly winter day in Boston, the group is huddled in a windowless, nondescript room. Piled high on a side table is enough junk food—potato chips, popcorn and Oreo cookies—to put an extra five pounds on every person in the room. It’s evidence of the likelihood that the locked-door session will test everyone’s endurance. The seven people around the rectangular table in room 112G are enacting a scene that is playing out at business schools all over the world, as admission committees decide the fate of tens of thousands of applicants to their MBA programs. In this case, the group is the MBA admissions team at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Led by Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions Meredith Siegel, the seven members of the committee will present dozens of candidates today, mull over the pros and cons of each application, and ultimately decide whether to admit, reject, or waitlist an applicant. A Record $50 Million Gift For BU, this is an uplifting time. Less than a year ago, the school received a $50 million naming gift from alumnus and long-time retailing giant Allen Questrom and his wife, Kelli. The gift, the largest ever received by the university, is going toward the endowment of 10 faculty chairs and will result in a new graduate program facility. Ken Freeman, a former corporate executive who is now in his sixth year as dean, not only reeled in the unprecedented gift. He has also put new life into a school that for years competed neck-and-neck with Boston College behind the two giants of business education in town, Harvard and MIT. “We have basically turned everything over,” he says. “There is no aspect of...

Here’s Why You Don’t Need an MBA to Get Ahead in Business...

There are other paths to the corner office. The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: Career wise, is it better to be book smart or street smart? is written by Suri Suriyakumar, chairman, president and CEO of ARC Document Solutions. While I would never discount the value of a formal, advanced education, my personal experience shows that life experience, combined with hard work, a desire to succeed, and a willingness to take risks, can lead to the corner office. I deviated from the norm from the beginning. In what was probably one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken: I decided to pursue a non-traditional — and rather circuitous — path to a career in business. My father was the first person from his village in Sri Lanka to get a college degree, and all of my siblings followed his lead, pursuing college degrees as well. But I bypassed the college and business school route in favor of the school of hard knocks. I attended a marine academy so that I could repair ships and sail the world. I quickly became street smart—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I became “sea smart”. I found that I liked to lead but not necessarily from a ship’s boiler room. So I left the sailor’s life behind and joined an executive training program at an international conglomerate. I had the benefit of working with a wonderful mentor who helped me grow, drive new projects, and make my way rather quickly to a directorship…Read full story:...

Here Are Poets&Quants Top MBA Startups

Do you need an MBA to do a successful startup? Of course not. But when it comes to using an MBA experience to launch a company, you won’t get much of an argument from the business school graduates whose companies have landed on Poets&Quants’ third annual ranking of the Top 100 MBA Startups. For the first time since the rankings were created, the top spot goes to a venture that had not already been sold. SoFi, a Stanford-founded student loan refinancing company, charged to the top of this year’s list with a monstrous $1.4 billion raised for operations in the past five years. Their leap up the rankings was anchored by a $1 billion Series E round announced last September. Next was GrabTaxi, the Southeastern Asia taxi booking app founded by a team from Harvard, with $680 million in venture backing. Rounding out the top three was Stanford-founded RelateIQ, which was acquired by Salesforce for $390 million and is now SalesforceIQ. Cultural Moment or Frothy VC Market? While SoFi and Grabtaxi certainly set the pace in the race for later series funding, they were not the only two startups to make big moves this year. Harvard-founded Oscar Insurance zoomed from $150 million and ninth place last year to $327.5 million and fourth place this year. Wharton-founded razor venture, Harry’s, nudged up one spot to fifth this year, with $287 million in total funding. And PillPack, founded by an MIT Sloan School of Management team, catapulted from 70th to 13th, with total backing of $62.8 million. Whether they’re enjoying a cultural moment or a frothy venture capital market, startup fever on business school campuses has never been hotter. Last year, 84 out of the 908 graduating MBAs from Harvard launched...

Yale’s Ted Snyder is Business School Dean of the Year...

...

MBA Hiring is Finally Recovering From the Recession...

Demand is up worldwide, and not just in the usual industries. Great news for the graduate business school class of 2015: The job market for candidates with MBA degrees, sleepy for the past eight years, is waking up. Openings for B-school grads have risen 26% in the U.S. and Canada since the beginning of last year, and 18% in Asia, says career site QS TopMBA’s latest annual report. That surprised even the researchers, who had forecast MBA job growth in those regions at just 8% and 9% respectively. “We didn’t anticipate quite how confident a mood MBA employers seem to be in,” says Mansoor Iqbal, the TopMBA editor who led the study, which covers 3,952 employers in 80 countries. Hiring at U.S. financial and consulting firms, where most MBAs have traditionally gravitated, is finally bouncing back, but that’s not all: Employers in tech and engineering, manufacturing, hospitality, and education are recruiting more MBAs these days, too. “Pharmaceutical makers, sleeping giants in recent years, have also upped MBA hiring levels,” Iqbal notes, “though not quite to the levels of the pre-recession boom years.” Despite the increase in demand, MBA pay has stayed pretty much the same in four out of six regions surveyed, including the U.S. “Only the Middle East and Asia bucked the trend,” the report notes, “with overall compensation increasing by 15% and 11% respectively.” Even so, MBAs in North America are still the world’s best paid, at an average annual salary-plus-bonus of $123,400. Western Europe, where hiring has gone up a relatively modest 9% since 2013, comes in second, with total yearly pay of $111,100. Read full story:...

The cost of an MBA in Europe has plummeted, thanks to a strong dollar...

A strong U.S. dollar has discounted the price of a European MBA and led, officials say, to increased interest from American students. Add one more upside to the European MBA for U.S. students. Already, MBA programs in Europe offer an advantage to many students in their typical one-year length, cutting tuition along with opportunity costs. And the top European B-schools tend to accept higher percentages of applicants with lower GMAT scores than highly ranked U.S. schools. Over the past year, the strength of the U.S. dollar versus the euro has drastically discounted the price of a European international MBA, and led, school officials say, to increased interest from American would-be MBAs. The euro has plunged from a high of around 1.4 dollars per euro in May 2014 to 1.1 now, making it 21% cheaper for students who use dollars to pay European MBA tuition. INSEAD’s current tuition of 65,800 euros costs $71,557 in dollars – but if the euro hadn’t fallen since this time last year, that price would have been $89,488. Of course, the true savings are even greater when you add in the estimated living expenses of 23,800 euros that come with getting an MBA on INSEAD’s Fontainebleau campus in France. That’s $7,140 less expensive than only a year ago. The price differential is less consequential for U.S. students who enroll at schools in Britain. That’s because the United Kingdom government never adopted the euro and kept its own currency, the pound sterling, which hasn’t suffered as significant a fall against the U.S. dollar in the past year. The price break is less than half in the U.K., at 9.8%. At London Business School, for example, tuition for a student starting in its two-year MBA program this...

Harvard B-school opens the flood gates with online courses...

After a pair of highly successful pilot runs, Harvard Business School is now opening its online program in business basics to students worldwide. The school is also inviting admitted MBA students to enroll in the program as a pre-MBA boot camp experience, particularly for non-traditional admits or those who need more basic quantitative work before showing up on campus. All told, slightly more than 1,100 students have now taken the primer on the fundamentals of business called CORe (Credential of Readiness) program. In the first beta starting last June, the trio of courses—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting—were open to only undergraduate students attending colleges in Massachusetts and alumni. Some 600 students took the $1,500 two-month program. Harvard then tested the suite of courses on 500 managers at nine different companies in a B-to-B experiment. For the first time, HBS is now opening up the program—based on case studies and videos—to applicants worldwide, including adult learners who have been out of school up to 10 years, and students admitted to the school’s full-time, on-campus MBA program this fall. Initially, the program was designed largely for non-business undergraduates who needed the business basics to give them a leg up on the job market when they graduated from college. These latest changes could put the program in competition with more expensive Executive MBA programs, which demand a greater time commitment from managers with 10 or more years of work experience. EMBA programs cover a lot more ground, but Harvard’s imprimatur on this program of business basics could make it appealing to managers who otherwise would attend second-tier EMBA programs. CORe more directly competes with summer business programs for undergraduate students from schools like UC-Berkeley and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School...

What B-school rejection feels like: When Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, and Yale all say no...

It was as if he’d climbed up on a high diving board, shouted down to everyone on the pool deck to watch him perform a triple back flip with four twists, bounced a few times to prepare for launch, bounced a few more times to make sure everyone was looking, propelled himself into the air … and missed the pool completely. Splat. Poor Grant. He wasn’t attempting the world’s most difficult dive, but its academic equivalent instead: applying to an ultra-elite MBA program. And while he wasn’t wearing a Speedo on a high board over a pool, he was even more exposed—Grant was standing in the middle of the Internet for all to see. You may have read his blog, Grant Me Admission, in which he chronicles his quest for a top-tier MBA. It’s received nearly 100,000 page views. And it’s pretty good: enthusiastic, lively, clearly written, full of tips and ideas and lessons learned. Read it, and you’re right there with Grant as he studies for and takes the GMAT, researches schools, visits campuses, analyzes sample essays, and gets interviews. It’s incredibly detailed. Which is part of the reason Grant went splat. He wasn’t just applying to top B-schools. He was also working full time, and doing a lot of nonprofit work, plus putting in hours and hours on his blog. His story holds a valuable lesson for anyone applying to top MBA programs. Grant failed to focus on Goal No. 1, getting admitted to business school, and he paid a painful price. As he writes on a recent post, below a photo of a bleak Martian landscape: Harvard: Dinged without an interview Wharton: Dinged without an interview Yale: Dinged without an interview Kellogg: Dinged Tuck: Dinged I’m...