CONTRARY INDICATOR

The great MBA exodus to tech is overstated

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen worries when he starts seeing too many business school grads around San Francisco.

“M.B.A. graduating classes are actually a reliable contrary indicator: if they all want to go into investment banking, there’s going to be a financial crisis,” he told the New York Times (paywall). “If they want to go into tech, that means a bubble is forming.”

Other VCs have taken it upon themselves to warn business school students about jumping too soon to start their own companies.

A new report from GMAC, which administers the admissions test for business school, on where this year’s crop of MBA graduates are headed suggests that things aren’t dire yet. There’s been barely any global movement to technology over the last three years, even as tech valuations have skyrocketed, legacy companies have hired like mad, and a great deal of attention and hype has circled firmly away from Wall Street to Silicon Valley:

That said, there is some movement at the margins. At top schools, where graduates command the biggest salaries, face the highest demand, and are likely most responsive to nearer-term changes in the labor market, there’s been a bit more of a shift in recent years. Unsurprisingly, where it does exist, it’s mostly concentrated on the West Coast:

The traditional MBA strongholds of finance and consulting have taken a small hit, but are still chugging along pretty well, and mounting a recovery at a few schools:

A local tech surge can be explained pretty easily. A global move to tech might give Andreessen and others who share his premonition reason to worry.

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