Best Job Placement For Biz Undergrads

career ladderThe reason many students major in business is simple: They pretty much think that by the time they graduate a fairly decent job will be waiting. That’s generally true, especially compared to many other majors. But some business schools are obviously better at landing jobs for their students than others.

Last year, for example, at least three business schools reported 100% rates of job offers three months after graduation: the University of Texas at Austin, Syracuse University, and Tulane University. The majority of the top-ranked schools, not surprisingly, score well in this category, with Washington University and Emory University reporting job offer rates of 97% three months after commencement.

But there also are some surprises in the other direction. At Providence College, seven out of every ten graduates last year failed to have a single job offer three months after getting their business diplomas. At Boston University’s business school, nearly half the class failed to have an offer, while at Baylor University, more than four in ten grads lacked an offer three months after graduation.

What do these weak stats tell you about these highly ranked business programs? The schools are either under investing in critical support functions, such as career management, or have lackluster alumni networks for graduates to leverage into employment opportunities. Either way, it’s a cause for concern because the 2013 job market was one of the best in recent memory for business undergrads.

Our analysis of placement data at these schools also shows that the big time recruiters of undergraduate talent tend to be the big accounting firms–PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG–the big banks–JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup–and an assortment of big companies that need incoming talent–, General Electric, IBM, General Motors, and Microsoft. These firms often show up on the lists of the top employers at the best undergraduate business programs.



School2013 Job OffersTop EmployersTop Industries
University of Texas-Austin (McCombs)100%Deloitte, PWC, E&Y, AccentureFinance, Consulting, Energy
Syracuse University (Whitman)100%Macy’s, JP Morgan, E&Y, Ross StoresFinance, Manufacturing, Media/Entertainment
Tulane University (Freeman)100%PWC, Grant Thornton, E&Y, Postlewaite & NettervilleFinance, Media/Entertainment, Consulting, Non-Profit
Washington University (Olin)97%Deloitte, Epic Systems, Bloomingdales, Anheuser-BuschFinance, Consulting, Media/Entertainment
Emory University (Goizueta)97%Deloitte, PWC, JP Morgan, E&YFinance, Consulting, Media/Entertainment
University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)97%Deloitte, E&Y, PwC, TargetFinance, Accounting, Consulting, Consumer Products/Retail
New York University (Stern)96%PWC, Goldman Sachs, IBM, JP MorganFinance, Consulting, Media/Entertainment
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)94%Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BCG, JP MorganFinance, Consulting, Real Estate
Indiana University (Kelley)94%E&Y, PWC, Macy’s, DeloitteFinance, Consulting, Manufacturing
Michigan State (Broad)94%Deloitte, Kohl’s,, ChryslerFinance, Manufacturing, Consulting
University of Denver94%JP Morgan, Enterprise, First Bank, Four SeasonsFinance, Real Estate, Consulting
University of Michigan (Ross)92%JP Morgan, E&Y, Microsoft, Goldman SachsConsulting, Finance, Manufacturing
Georgia Institute of Technology92%Deloitte, IBM, Accenture, SunTrustConsulting, Finance, Manufacturing
Wake Forest University91%E&Y, PWC, Deloitte, KPMGFinance, Consulting, Media/Entertainment
Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)91%PWC, General Electric, Deloitte, Goldman SachsFinance, Consulting, Manufacturing, Media/Entertainment
Miami University-Ohio91%E&Y, PWC, Deloitte, JP MorganFinance, Consulting, Manufacturing
Texas Christian (Neeley)91%Textron, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte, General MotorsFinance, Media/Entertainment, Consulting
Babson College90%PWC, BankofAmerica, EMC, StaplesFinance, Media/Entertainment, Manufacturing
University of San Diego90%E&Y, PWC, KPMGFinance, Real Estate
University of Miami90%Citigroup, JP Morgan, University of Miami, NielsenFinance, Real Estate, Manufacturing

Source: Business schools reporting to Bloomberg BusinessWeek

(See the following page for the ranked schools with the worst placement stats)

  • Bastion

    There has to be some catch here. For instance, the type of job you go after (or is even offered to you) after graduation matters a lot. A lot of Stanford and Harvard grads are applying to McKinsey and Goldman Sachs as well as Wall Street gigs after graduation, as opposed to Syracuse University’s top employers in Macys and JP Morgan

    • JohnAByrne

      Not sure there is a catch, but you’re right: Some school brands open doors that would otherwise be closed to graduates of other schools. While Harvard and Stanford don’t have undergraduate business schools, an undergraduate degree from those two institutions in particular open a lot of doors. So it’s important to make that judgment if you want to work for a specific list of companies when you graduate. That’s why we also included data on the top employers of each of these schools. Thanks for weighing in.

  • Joe Smith

    The catch is the schools report the percentage used in the data collection, but BW does not publish that nor does BW require any detailed submission of the demographics of the sample used by schools in reporting salary/employment (meaning, let’s say Accounting and finance majors are 40% of your graduates but make up 80% of your “employment” sample) to ensure the sample N is both large and representative of the graduating cohort.
    USNEWS adjusts SAT scores down for test optional schools; BW should do something similar for schools that have a N below certain thresholds.

    • tiffstern

      Good point – if they’re not getting all the students, for some schools are they getting a sample bias of the less-involved-on-campus-and-busy and therefore less satisfied students?

      • Joe Smith

        Actually, since the salary and employment data comes from the school (not students on the student survey), the schools are probably oversampling the ones who get jobs through the more established employer-school relationships (think Accounting Big 4, Finance firms) and probably missing the marketing, human resource, retail, etc. type jobs. It’s not hard for BW to ask for the overall “N” (BW already does that) and since they ask for detail by major, to have the school provide a breakdown of the N by major and next to it the true cohort % for that major. That way, if a school’s data is based on a low N or over representative of a certain major (ie. finance), then BW can do a an adjustment like USNEWS does for SAT.

  • Ham Langly

    Many of the figures for lesser schools are suspect. At many schools, only a small percentage of students respond with placement numbers (salaries, positions). Yet, these schools report information as if the figures represent the entire class. When some schools have only a 30% response rate, with non-responders at lower salaries or without jobs, schools are exaggerating statistics. Also, students at many schools with entrepreneurial programs represent that they are employed as a “salary,” but these are questionable positions with fabricated “salary” figures. Schools never filter out much of these responses in the race to present “positive” statistics.