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Aruba, June 5, 2014 - If newly-minted MBAs want a good shot at quick employment and salary jumps, they may want to turn their aspirations toward factory floors and away from trading floors.
A survey of more than 3,000 graduate business students around the world, released Wednesday by the Graduate Management Admission Council, shows that grads seeking jobs in the manufacturing and healthcare industries were most likely to get early offers this spring. While the healthcare business boom is well-documented, the growing demand for manufacturing business leaders paints more of a comeback story that MBAs are just starting to see.

Only a few MBAs were looking for work in manufacturing and healthcare, but those that did were more likely to secure jobs early in the academic year. In both industries, 74 percent of graduates seeking jobs got them, whereas only 57 percent of finance and accounting majors got jobs in those fields.

STORY: In Manufacturing, the U.S. Is Surprisingly Competitive
Students entering manufacturing were also more likely to have switched into the industry than have prior experience there, according to the report, showing the field’s growing reach in business schools. The small slice of MBAs looking for work in the manufacturing industry (7 percent) will jump into a field that’s gone overlooked in recent years and mired in misconceptions, says Karen Dowd, assistant dean of career management and corporate engagement at Rochester’s Simon Business School.

“During manufacturing companies’ declines, consulting firms and investment banks led the way in treating students like star athletes,” says Dowd. “When students learn the story from the manufacturing companies that they’re changed and are more high-tech now, [companies] can challenge more consulting firms and I-banks in terms of interesting work and perks.”

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