BY Lake SydneyMay 17, 2022, 13:15
Apple Store at the IFC mall in Hong Kong, as seen in May 2022. (Photo by Marc Fernandes—NurPhoto/Getty Images)
The technology sector rakes in top MBA graduates at about the same rate as consulting firms and financial services firms, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council. In fact, top business schools such as Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and the University of Washington (Foster) see more than a third of their MBA students finding jobs in the post-graduation technology sector.
These MBA graduates aren’t being employed by just any technology company—they are being hounded by Apple and Google, both of which are in the top 10 companies in the world. Property 500. Reports show that only about 2% of applicants to Apple and about 1% of Google candidates are hired.
“When it comes to technology recruitment, today’s market leaders in technology—including Apple and Google—have designed painstaking recruitment processes to screen the best of their kind,” Sameer Kamat, author Beyond the MBA Hype and founder of the Crystal Ball MBA, said Property. “In fact, the level of selectivity at these companies can rival and surpass top universities.”
Between 2018 and 2020, there were 426 MBA graduates employed by Google and 139 who found employment at Apple, according to data compiled by Menlo Coaching, an MBA consulting firm. Menlo Coaching views more than 50,000 MBA student profiles from public sources including graduation announcements as well as Facebook and LinkedIn posts.
While many graduates from the top 20 schools in PropertyRanking of the best full-time MBA programs employed by Apple and Google, some programs see these two companies hiring their MBAs in droves. Menlo Coaching data shows that Northwestern University (Kellogg) is leading MBA recruits at Apple, while the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) sees Google hiring the most.
Apart from these two schools, there are still many programs that will make you potentially hired by Apple or Google. Using a mix of data from Menlo Coaching and reports directly from schools, Property have compiled a list of some other schools to check out if you are eyeing a job at Apple or Google.
University of California–Berkeley (Haas)
Located near Silicon Valley, it’s no surprise that the University of California–Berkeley (Haas) is a strong feeder school for Google. Between 2018 and 2020, Menlo Coaching reports Google employed 25 Haas MBA students—and according to the school, an additional 13 graduates were employed by 2021.
“Our students do well in technology companies because of our strong general management education,” Abby Scott, Haas assistant dean for MBA career management and corporate partnerships, said. Property. “The analytical rigor of our program helps them well in environments where they will be called upon to lead cross-functional global teams and to make data-driven decisions.”
The school also offers a number of technology-focused electives as part of its MBA program and sees its graduates take on a variety of roles in technology companies.
“Many might assume that MBA graduates are simply getting into technology-oriented roles like product management at tech companies like Google and Apple,” Kamat said. “Leading technology companies recruit MBA graduates for a wide range of internal and external roles such as marketing, strategy, accounting, finance, recruitment, operations and partnerships.”
Columbia Business School
In 2021, just under 20% of Columbia Business School’s MBA students receive a job in technology after graduation, earning a median starting salary (including bonuses) of around $150,000, according to the school’s employment report.
This New York City school is one of the top suppliers for jobs at Apple and Google, according to Menlo Coaching data. Some graduates go into product development and strategy, while others pursue supply chain and business growth jobs. Columbia Business School Dean Costis Maglaras has played a major role in the program’s focus on technology development, which has reaped the rewards in the school’s work report.
“You and I live in a world rich in data and technology,” says Maglaras Property in a recent interview. “This has fundamentally changed the business and the types of jobs our students take. Business education has evolved to embrace that and to better prepare students for this digital future.”
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) is proud to offer a data and technology-focused MBA program in several formats, including face-to-face, online and hybrid options.
“To address the business challenges that lie ahead, you must be able to forecast, predict, and model solutions in the face of uncertainty,” according to the Tepper curriculum information page. “You have to develop advanced analytical skills to stand out in today’s market.”
The school has sent its graduates to work at leading technology companies including Microsoft—but has also seen its graduates also play roles at Google and Apple.
“The company continues to recruit talent from [Tepper] because they know our students are proficient with world-class technology and analytical tools,” Stephen Rakas, executive director of the Tepper masters career center, said Property. “Our MBA students are also known to be ambitious yet collaborative—ready to explore and solve complex problems.”
How do Harvard, Stanford, Wharton fare?
Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and Wharton are all top producers of MBA talent hired by Google. HBS is the runner-up for most employees at Google behind Wharton—and Stanford isn’t too far behind, according to Menlo Coaching data. Each school sees about 20% to 30% of its MBA graduates enter the technology sector.
“Google and Apple hire the most in MBA programs that have a high percentage of tech graduates,” Talon Rindels, a consultant with MBA Exchange, said. Property. “The largest schools that fit these criteria are Kellogg, HBS, Stanford, and Wharton.”
Wharton reports a base salary for technology graduates of $141,000, but data from other top business school programs suggest these students likely earn close to $200,000 with bonuses. Technician salaries are about 20% to 25% higher for MBA graduates compared to undergraduate employees, Keith Feinberg, director of permanent placement services with Robert Half, previously said. Property.
While there are still Apple employees from these three schools, they are being eclipsed by other programs including Duke University (Fuqua), University of Texas–Austin (McCombs) Columbia, and Kellogg’s.
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