Financial TimesCharting MBA graduates’ progress

February 1, 20210

What impact does an MBA have on a graduate’s future? The FT business education team analysed survey data to explore where alumni of ranked schools work three years after graduation, their seniority and satisfaction with their network.

The analysis also focuses on which graduates launched their own business, where and in what sector, and how they funded their ventures.

Unless otherwise stated, data are from the forthcoming FT MBA 2021 ranking, published next week.

Chart showing where graduates work after completing their MBA (%)*

Finance and banking remain the most popular career destination for MBA graduates who responded to an FT survey, though decreasingly so in the past five years. Interest in consultancy has grown in that time.

Chart showing level of alumni seniority three years after graduating with an MBA (%)*

FT survey data show that nearly a third of MBA alumni are in senior management or executive roles three years after graduation.

Chart showing that the FT asked MBA alumni to rate out of 10 the usefulness of their network in different areas (%)*

Building a network is one of the main reasons why students apply for an MBA — and most graduates are satisfied with what theirs offers. Graduate networks are rated most helpful for making contact with other alumni and access to events such as conferences.

Chart showing that in its survey of MBA alumni, the FT focused on graduates who had launched businesses*

Most alumni who started a company within three years of their MBA are men aged 28 to 35, although they are under 23 per cent of the total cohort.

Chart showing regions where surveyed MBA graduates set up their businesses

In the past five years, 7,137 alumni surveyed by the FT (15 per cent) started their own business. The US and Canada account for the largest proportion, though this is shrinking. Asia-Pacific and Europe saw increases. †

Chart showing top start-up sectors

Consultancy and e-commerce have been the most popular areas for start-ups in the past five years. †

Chart showing where alumni found funding

Two-thirds of investment in companies started by alumni of ranked schools is angel finance.

† Data taken from the past five FT MBA rankings.

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