Undergraduates from the University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, are continuing to be drawn to the financial services industry more so than any other, with over 40% securing jobs in finance last year.
The Ross School has just released its 2018 employment data, and right after finance, the second and third most popular industries are consulting and technology, where 18% and 14% of undergraduates went.
“Students remain interested in the finance services industry because it provides a great foundation for many career paths, and our school has a strong reputation as a finance school and preparing students for those roles,” Heather Byrne, managing director of the Career Development Officer at Ross School of Business, says. “We’ve seen a small uptick in interest in consulting for the same reason, that students get exposure to many industries and what’s happening in the world of business as they work in teams with different people and learn to analyze problems.”
FINANCE REMAINS MOST POPULAR INDUSTRY AT ROSS
While Ross graduates in tech and finance tied when it came to the $10,000 sign-on bonus, only 67% of students entering tech said they received sign-on bonuses, but over 73% of students entering finance said they received one. Students in both industries reported a range of salaries with the upper limit being $120,000, but the median base salary for undergraduates entering finance was $85,000 while the same for students entering tech was $67,500.
“While there’s been an increase of automation, it hasn’t affected the marketplace for talent yet. Banking is still a lot about relationships and only humans can form relationships. Students at Ross do really well because they’ve developed great analytical skills, and are great at working on teams” Byrne says. “Overall, higher salaries are earned by students in financial services and tech but they are outliers and it still depends on the role they take on.”
In the employment data shared by the school, over 44% of undergraduates reported having done internships in the financial services industry. Consulting came in second, but with just almost 12% of students taking up internships in the industry, then came technology, where 7.4% of students went.
“More students today are interested in tech in general because it’s relatable to their everyday life and how they grew up,” Byrne says. “In tech, they also get to work in teams to make something happen. Because they are typically working on a product, they get a sense of ownership and contribution much earlier in their careers than in other roles.”
98% OF JOB SEEKERS HAD OFFERS WITHIN THREE MONTHS OF GRADUATION
Overall, 98% of undergraduates seeking employment received job offers within three months of graduation, and those accepting positions earned a median base salary of $72,000 a year.
Of all the job functions ranging from accounting, consulting, and IT, to Human Resources, Strategic Planning, and Marketing/Sales, Finance was the most popular, with 45% of students securing related jobs. A large 21.4% of students went into investment banking, which had the second highest average base salary of $84,452.
Though just 2% of undergraduates from the Ross School of Business went into IT-related jobs, students who found work in IT reported the highest average base salary of $85,833.
The real estate and retail industries tied at the bottom of the scale with just 2.2 percent of students finding jobs there. However, students in real estate reported both a higher median base salary of $65,000 and a signing bonus of $7,500, than students in retail, where the base salary was $57,000, and the signing bonus just $3,000.
MAJORITY OF GRADUATES GOING TO THE NORTHEAST
Along with the continued strength of students’ interests and opportunities in finance, the school has found that a majority of students would be working in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Specifically, over 40% of students are working in the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and 24% of students working in the Chicago Metro area.
While only 6.7% of students said they would be working in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is worth noting that students who reported having jobs there have the highest average base salary of $78,542. Though over five times more Ross students found jobs in the Tri-State Area, the average base salary was lower at $75,955.
“When it comes to wages, we work to position our students for success in the long run, and salaries are just part of that positioning. Depending on the student, it may or may not be the most important thing as everyone has their own values,” Byrne says. “What’s important is that they negotiate their position at the beginning of their careers so they will be learning and be challenged so they can show great work, and that will help them secure their next job.”