March 16, 2014 11:06 pm

MBA entrepreneurs head for the technology sector

Even though business schools report that a growing number of MBA graduates want to be entrepreneurs, just 5 per cent of those who finished business school between 2010 and 2013 now run their own businesses. Of those, 45 per cent started businesses at graduation, according to a survey of business school alumni by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Fourteen per cent of recent business school entrepreneurs work in the technology sector, according to the GMAC study, compared with just 2 per cent of entrepreneurs who graduated before 1990.

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The survey of graduates from 132 business schools around the world included alumni who graduated as far back as 1959, more than half a century ago. The survey found that 11 per cent of graduates over that period are now self-employed, with the number of graduates becoming entrepreneurs increasing the longer the respondents were out of business school.

The survey also breaks down alumni according to their location and job sector. Today, 13 per cent of respondents are employed outside their country of citizenship, according to GMAC, although this varies widely according to nationality. Just 3 per cent of US citizens work outside the US, for example.

The most popular jobs, perhaps unsurprisingly, are in finance and accounting (26 per cent), followed by sales and marketing (21 per cent) and general management (20 per cent).

The 21,000 alumni who responded to the GMAC survey were also asked to rate the value of their business degree. Ninety-four per cent of them rated the value of their degree highly, while 83 per cent of them report high degrees of job satisfaction and 79 per cent said their expectations for the financial return on investment of their degree were met or exceeded.

In spite of the difficult job market for business school graduates in recent years, 91 per cent of those who graduated between 2010 and 2013 said that given the choice again, they would still have pursued a management degree.

What is more, 77 per cent of business school alumni give financially to their alma mater, believing that their school provided a valuable education. The survey is the largest alumni survey ever conducted by GMAC.

The survey was conducted in October and November 2013. The average response rate for each school was 10 per cent, although some schools had as low as a 1 per cent response rate and others as high as 81 per cent. More than two-thirds of the respondents (14,000) graduated since 2000. More than 13,500 respondents were US citizens.

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