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What Do MBAs REALLY Want from Employers?

It can be hard to quantify everything you hear about employers. Anecdotally, you might hear that your prospective employer pays well, has a terrible work environment, and offers little to no training. A bit noisy, isn’t it? Is the pay worth the negatives? Will Sam from accounting steal your lunch? It’s hard to say.


We tried to take a bit of the noise out of evaluating what matters the most when finding what employer is the right fit for you. We dove into our MBA data to evaluate what MBAs value the most in their employers.


Finding the Value in Employers

One thing we offer our users is the chance to decide what they value most from their employers. To do this, simply head over to your watchlist on TransparentCareer to review your match score with companies that you follow. Your match score compares your personal preferences to how our MBAs have rated the company, and we calculate how good of a match the company is for you. To change your preferences, simply hover over your match score with a company, and click the pencil.



So, what DO MBAs Want?

We measured what our users value the most, and this is how MBAs (on average) rate each preference for their post-MBA job.


Most of these come at no surprise to us. Among the most attractive companies for MBAs, heavy hitters like Google are lauded for their employee benefits, and top consulting firms like BCG and Deloitte offer large compensation packages.


The lack of preference to firm stability, though, is surprising. Falling a whole 5 percentile points behind the next lowest preference (training and development) MBAs aren’t nearly as concerned about the stability of their employers.


We assume that this is a result of two things. First, with many MBAs desiring to work at startups, they’re likely much more concerned about learning from the experience (or hoping for an equity payday) as opposed to staying at the startup for too long. Tying into that point, most MBAs are young (~30 at graduation) and don’t mind being impeded by a year or two after graduation by working at a company should it fail.


Further conclusions can be drawn by examining the frequency at which each value was ranked the highest (or tied for the highest) by users.


Compensation & benefits becomes an ever clearer standout – it ranked as a top priority amongst 72% of our MBAs. Once again we see firm stability at the bottom of importance, likely due to the aforementioned reasons


Of particular note is how large of a jump job training/development takes – with only an average score of 10%, 24% of MBAs still rank it as a top value. Interestingly enough, along with compensation, when an MBA valued training/development highly, the quality of coworkers was also a highly desired preference.


Tying It All Together

Are the companies MBAs most interested in the right fit?  Google, unsurprisingly, sits at the top of our list as the most popular employer among MBAs. How does it stack up among other tech companies based on MBA preferences?


In the following table, we ranked top tech companies based on MBA preferences, with a rank of 1 being the best on the list.


*note – Facebook, Google, Apple, and Vmware all had a perfect score on Brand Prestige


Despite being the most popular employer among MBAs, Google ranks 6th in the most important value, total compensation, with $190k, vs list topping Microsoft ($225k). Google ranks much higher in less important fields though, such as coworker quality and brand prestige. Along with pulling top compensation as a tech company for MBAs, Microsoft also ranks at the top of our list of employers for MBA women.


Surprising front runner is Vmware, a subsidiary of Dell. Despite lacking the household name brand that other major tech players enjoy, our MBA students rank Vmware at the top for coworker quality, the ability for advancement, and the potential for employee development.



Looking for more info on what MBAs value the most? Take a look at our article on the top companies for MBAs that value work-life balance.


Or better yet – why limit yourself just to data on what MBAs value? Sign up for a free TransparentCareer account and get access to our entire database. Explore data on compensation, employee satisfaction, and more at top companies, from our users just like you. Did we mention that it’s free? Sign up here.