Leading Indicator? This Top University Announces a Significant Increase in Employment for MBA Graduates

Graduates from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business are securing jobs at higher levels than in past years, despite gloomy unemployment statistics in many developed countries. Fuqua’s Career Management Center CMC reports that 93 percent of full-time students from the 2011 graduating class have received offers three months since their actual graduation, an 11 percentage point increase from the previous year and a 14 percentage point rise from the 2009 class.

There were 48 employers that hired four or more Duke MBAs across the following industries: financial services (12 companies), consulting (eight), health care (eight), technology (eight), consumer products (five), diversified products and services (four), retail TWO, and entertainment ONE. Compensation is also on the rise this year. The mean 2011 full-time annual salary is $107,833 (up six percent) with mean signing bonuses at $25,946 (up 18%). The percentage of graduates reporting signing bonuses increased from 71% the previous year to 78% for the 2011 class.

“These numbers are the collective result of significant collaboration across the entire institution – career preparation by the CMC and the student clubs, corporate development through our industry centers and corporate relations, and the innovative activity of our regional offices, alumni engagement teams, and MBA Association,” said Sheryle Dirks, associate dean for career management. “But far more than Fuqua’s efforts as an organization, these terrific results reflect the hard work by the students themselves. While we have an obligation to put in place the right resources, it is ultimately students’ efforts that dictate these numbers and this class excelled in that regard.”

Among industry, there has been a significant increase in consulting offers. In the graduating class, 30% accepted positions in the consulting industry, up 10 percentage points from the prior year. The consulting industry captured 23% of the intern class of 2012 representing a jump of 10 percentage points from the class of 2010.

As a result of this trend, several consulting companies figure among the top 10 Fuqua employers. Deloitte hired 35 graduates and 26 interns for a total of 61 hires, highest among all recruiting companies at Fuqua. McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) also were prominent recruiters in the consulting space.

“The current economic conditions are clearly impacting this increase,” said Dirks. “At the same time, our community’s commitment to rethinking the business model for employment services played a role in the upward swing. We are delighted by the inroads we have made in consulting, while also maintaining strong performance in other industries.”

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and Samsung also recruited multiple Fuqua graduates. Overall, the top 10 employers hired a total of 227 graduates. From 2007 – 2010, the mean number of graduates and interns hired by the top 10 employers was 163, so the 2011 results represent an increase of 39% in this top hire category.

Asia will be the work home for nine percent of the class, while a total of 14 percent of the class accepted roles outside the US.