MBA job trends: Students’ career interests continue to diversify — Susan Kline

While many graduating MBA students are still heading to traditional sectors like finance, consulting and technology, one of the biggest trends among top business schools is an increase in the diversity of students’ career interests. Perhaps it’s related to fallout from the financial crisis or even a generational trend, but more and more students are pursuing positions in a broader array of areas.

At MIT Sloan, about 60% of our MBA graduates in the past few years have gone to those traditional areas. Among our other MBA students, we are indeed seeing this trend toward diverse interests. Strong areas of focus for that group include: entrepreneurship; sustainability; energy; social enterprise; health care; operations and supply chain management; and entertainment, media and sports.

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MIT Sloan MBA Areta Shum on the Seattle "Tech Trek"

After a fun and rigorous core semester, it’s finally winter break, but I’m not hitting the slopes or soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere warm. Instead, I signed up to go to Seattle with 17 other MIT Sloan students on a technology career trek. While this may sound like an unusual way to spend our vacation time, it’s actually a great opportunity for MBA students to learn more about the technology industry and what it would be like to work for a tech company.

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Obama and jobs — focus on quality, not just numbers

MIT Sloan Prof. Paul Osterman

President Obama’s job plan has triggered lots of talk if not action. With the economy struggling, any conversation about job creation is good news. But from the President on down, we sometimes pay too much attention to the number of jobs being produced and not nearly enough attention to the quality of those jobs.

In Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone (Russell Sage Foundation), a book co-authored by me and Beth Shulman being released this month, we document how a very large percentage of American adults today work in jobs that pay at levels below what is needed for a decent standard of living.

The main focus of our book is to show how bad jobs can be made into good ones. We show that education is a necessary but not sufficient element in the solution, that the persistence of low wage work cannot be laid at the door of immigration, and that it is possible to improve job quality without negatively impacting economic growth.

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