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MBA graduates more likely to enter tech. sector than finance, study suggests

Several Boston University students are following a recent trend where elite business school graduates are more inclined to work in technology fields over finance, officials said.

Assistant Dean for Career Services at Boston University’s School of Management J.P Matychak said there is a concentration of School of Management graduates entering the technology field.

Matychak said only 15 percent of 2013 business graduate students took jobs in financial services, compared to 25 percent of graduates who entered the technology sector.

“At the MBA [Master of Business Administration] level … technology is very heavy with us,” Matychak said. “I think that testifies to the fact we have a very strong Master of Science and Information System and MBA dual-degree program.”

Matychak said SMG has adopted a forward-facing approach to the evolving business industry. He said jobs in future businesses are going to be heavily concentrated in the digital technology, health and social sectors.

“It’s not a surprise to us that we see more and more opportunities coming out of the digital sectors, as those are where the high-growth areas are for entrepreneurs and new businesses,” Matychak said. “So, I think students are seeing that as industry opportunities, and pursuing careers based in those areas.”

According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday which examined graduates from 13 schools seeking technology or finance jobs, there has been an increase in the number of MBA graduates who accepted jobs in the technology sector over the past two years.

Eighteen percent of Harvard Business School students entered jobs in the technology sector this year, compared to just 12 percent last year. Similarly, in the last year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management saw a 3 percent increase in graduates entering the tech-sector, while 10 percent fewer students entered the financial sector.

This year, SMG students have shown greater interest in pursuing more meaningful work where they can make a bigger impact on a company, Matychak said. This trend is coupled with the growing interest in the technology sector.

“When you look at the generation that is coming into both the MBA programs and undergraduate programs, you are talking about the millennial generation, which is the service generation,” Matychak said. “This is a generation that wants to be heard and to feel like they matter, which is another reason I think that these [the technology and health sectors] … are the fastest growth areas right now.”

Matychak said if a graduate can start his or her career at an entrepreneurial technology company or start-up, he or she would more likely stay valuable within the organization as it grows.

While this new trend is evident within BU’s MBA graduates, about 40 percent of 2013 BU undergraduate business students did decide to enter accounting and finance upon graduation, Matychak said. This number is higher compared to previous years when students were shying away from those fields in the wake of the U.S. economic recession.

Stephanie Stanczyk, a SMG senior, said companies feel as though people coming straight out of college are the most knowledgeable about new and emerging technologies. Thus, the heightened interest in the technology field may have to do with younger candidates’ experience.

“Our generation is trying to look for a more sustainable future, and they want to actually be part of a community rather than see business as just for profit,” Stanczyk said. “So, they want to … go into technology where they can see it benefitting and helping the sustainability factor.”

Joe Benoit, an SMG sophomore, said this national trend reflects a general change in business student ethics, as well as the country’s changing perception of Wall Street.

“There is a obviously a huge gap of wealth in this country, so a lot of people are against going into investment banking and things like that because they feel like they are not really contributing that much to the less fortunate,” Benoit said.

Madison Wetter, SMG senior, said technology is starting to become a dominant force in the business industry, and it has become increasingly relevant in today’s society.

“Whether you’re specifically a software company or specifically working with IT or whether you’re in the financial industry, I think that technology affects you in one way or another,” Wetter said.

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