Transition in MBA hiring

Today the Financial Times reports on post-MBA hiring statistics.

The big mover is Amazon, who hired MBA graduates “in the high hundreds” across the world, an increase of 30 per cent over last year.

They also disclose starting salaries, and they are $137,000 for a programme manager to $180,000 for a senior product manager, including signing bonuses (according to Transparent Career). This compares with an average for consultancy positions of $165,000, and $170,000 for those taking jobs at investment banks. Good money, but don’t forget to divide it by the number of hours worked.

This development is consistent with what I have observed in the post-MBA job market. Finance and investment banking are not being explicitly targeted by students as they once were. While consulting remains popular, current MBA students usually are targeting a niche within consulting, such as sustainability,  M&A of a certain sector, big data or disruptive finance.

A former GMAT student was just hired by Amazon, and it was his dream job, so we followed the process very closely. The selection process is rigorous and there is a standard testing component that is not so different from GMAT. Unlike consulting, which uses the actual GMAT, Amazon has their own testing methods– which are not so different from GMAT. Amazon is a good opportunity for new MBAs so there are many more applicants than places.

Amazon is in a big push to enter new markets and disrupt the status quo. This provides opportunities for MBAs to experience high-level entrepreneurship while being paid a salary, and with world-class infrastructure and mentoring systems in place.

Now, to access this opportunity, you will need:

  1. a high GMAT score. The collective GMAT scores at the top schools are over 700.
  2. acceptance to a top school. With a few notable exceptions, Amazon and co. don’t recruit at middle tier schools.


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