What's the Future for Finance Pros with MBAs?

After cutbacks by some of the biggest companies in the financial sector, there were concerns that the value of an MBA degree was declining. As a way to save money, employers have been hiring undergrads, who are willing to work for less money, rather than hire business school grads. This may be impacting the number of candidates with an MBA. However, others think the future of MBA demand is brighter. Bill Driscoll, President of the New England District of Robert Half International told BusinessBecause, "We continue to see demand for MBAs among financial services clients." How is MBA demand evolving and where can your organization look for candidates?

Across all industries, jobs that require MBAs account for 1% of hiring demand, according to WANTED Analytics hiring demand data. This is 3% fewer jobs than during the same time last year, showing that overall demand for professionals with MBAs is declining. Currently, the finance and insurance sector accounts for 10% of all jobs requiring an MBA. Manufacturing, however, has the greatest need for professionals, with about 13% of job ads requiring one. Despite declining demand overall, demand for candidates in the finance sector with this degree grew 2.5% year-over-year. 

Demand for MBAs by Industry

13.05.14 Demand For Mb As By Industry

Source: WANTED Analytics

WANTED Analytics candidate supply data shows there is about 5,852,000 finance and insurance candidates in the current US workforce, 2% of which possess an MBA. In the finance sector, Financial Managers (Branch or Department), Marketing Managers, and Financial Analysts commonly require a Master's degree. In addition to cost saving benefits, as demand increases for finance professionals, employers aren't waiting for talent to earn a Masters. Students are being recruited as undergrads, making it even harder to find recent grads with an MBA.

The article states that some banks have reduced their campus recruiting efforts. As other companies pull back college recruiting, this could be a good time to establish programs with colleges and universities that have the largest graduating classes of MBA students. Below we listed the colleges and universities that have the highest number of students graduating with an education in finance.

Colleges and Universities with the Most Finance Graduates

12.05.14 Finance Graduate Supply


12% of students with finance coursework earned a Masters degree in 2013. A similar number is likely to graduate this year. The University of Phoenix (Online Campus) had the largest class that graduated with a background in finance. With the largest graduating candidate supply, more MBAs are likely to be found at this school. Additionally, an online school makes it easier for candidates in the current workforce to further their learning and earn an advanced degree. Employers may also want to consider offering advanced learning opportunities to their employees, so they can earn their MBA while already working for the company. 

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