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Alumni networks the key to unlocking job openings

Business schools generally provide careers advice and other kinds of support for students during their studies, but what assistance can students expect after graduation?

When it comes to job hunting, contacts are vital. In an FT poll of 1,113 masters in management students who graduated in 2011, 77 per cent learnt about employment opportunities from their school’s alumni network. Out of those who obtained information on job openings from alumni, 59 per cent secured offers of work.

In addition, one respondent said alumni reviewed his CV, prepared him for job interviews and even helped him to move to another city.

Reviews of school support services used by 894 graduates in areas such as financial issues and work visas proved to be mixed. About 42 per cent rated these services as “strong” or “very strong”, while 28 per cent said it was “acceptable” and 30 per cent reported it was either “weak” or “negligible”.

Feedback on careers services was better. Nearly half of the students rated support since graduation as “strong” or “very strong”, with 30 per cent saying it was “acceptable”. One individual said a mentor from his school had continued to give him careers guidance long after graduation. – Wai Kwen Chan

Poverty studies designed to open minds

A business education used to be all about marketing and accounting, but not any more. At the University of Sydney Business School, students on the masters in management programme can now study a course on poverty alleviation and profitability.

Associate professor Ranjit Voola says there is an increasing need for business to pursue social objectives. “There has been a philosophical shift on what should constitutes business education. There is a moral imperative to do this,” he says.

One hurdle is that poverty alleviation is a counter-intuitive topic for business students, he says. “Most business models are low volume, high margins; this is high volume, low margins.”

The need to challenge these assumptions means the module will be taught first on the MiM as the students are more open to new ideas than older MBA students, he says. – Della Bradshaw

Banking and finance careers retain their allure

In spite of the 2008 financial crisis, jobs in finance and banking are still the most popular for graduates of masters in management programmes.

Three years after graduation, MiM graduates who moved into the finance and banking sectors earn an average of $64,000, which eclipses the average salaries of those in consultancy ($60,000), healthcare ($55,000) and technology ($53,000), according to data compiled for the 2014 Financial Times Masters in Management rankings.

In spite of the changing profile of business school graduates, 43 per cent of MiM graduates from the class of 2011 went into the two most traditional business school jobs – finance and consulting. Three years after graduation, just 9 per cent of graduates were working in the technology sector and 7 per cent in industry.

Those who work in the energy and consumer goods sectors also achieved strong salaries: an average of $56,000 in the former and $54,000 in the latter. However, some of the lowest salaries were reported in media and retail. The average salary three years after graduation in retail was $50,000 and in media and marketing it was $47,000. – Della Bradshaw and Laurent Ortmans

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.