85 percent of MBA students consider this as a career option

Business school graduate statistics are hitting the research circuit for both 2019 and 2020. After Harvard published their official stats for the MBA program, class of 2020, hiring trends were noticed in similar industries across the board.

Breaking down the data

Though the history of business programs would indicate a higher perceived status based on what company hires you post-graduation — many ivy league schools have scaled internship programs to better acquaint their graduates with particular high-ranking companies on a global scale — it seems there is a growing trend in graduates wanting to pursue an alternate path. More than 85 percent of students who gave feedback indicated an interest in pursuing entrepreneurship in their careers.

In order to obtain these surprising results, the team at Illuminate Ventures approached business school students from over 20 different schools. Over 500 students were surveyed, and responses were pulled from a variety of institutions, including the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, and Yale. The study set out to examine gender’s impact on entrepreneurship and ended up revealing much more than the intended focus.

In an increasingly competitive and consistently innovative job market, entrepreneurship makes sense. Many people who begin their careers in fields that they are incredibly passionate about fizzle out and experience overwhelm. Largely, this is because of the lack of empathy displayed by companies and corporations alike, especially in the age of remote work. The inability of your boss or supervisor to see what you’re doing at all times can lead to the implementation of unnecessary meetings, check-ins, extra workflow steps, and other micro-management techniques that can get tiring.

Students are experiencing that now, within their work, personal, and educational lives. They are anticipating a stressful job market, a questionable economic space, a climate crisis, racial injustice, and a pandemic, all facets bleeding into their personal and professional lives. The amount of pivoting and learning humankind has had to do in the last year is senseless, and – just like plants – it takes people a while to get acquainted with even small changes to their environment. Not only has all of this led to students evaluating potential careers based on how linked it is to their passions and how they want to improve the world, but it has also led to an increased sense of responsibility to “get things done,” an attitude that has championed the entrepreneurial world since day one.

Disparaging numbers occurred in several areas, including female MBA students ranking lower in self-confidence levels. Over ⅓ more men than women already had a startup in mind, and 48 percent of male students were already involved in a startup of some sort compared to only 34 percent of women, both statistics that seem intrinsically linked to self-confidence.

What can we take away from this?

What we can glean from these statistics? MBA students – and students of all levels – seem to be changing the way they work and what they prioritize. Most students largely acknowledge that approaching entrepreneurship as a career option isn’t an easy process. According to the Illuminate Ventures study, “Across current and prior survey respondents, all agreed that the most important attribute of a successful entrepreneur is a combination of resilience and perseverance.” This seems to point out that students recognize the impact their work can have on the world, and the majority of them are coming out of a formal educational experience with fists swinging, ready for a fight.

This study highlights the fact that having a source of inspiration is key to a successful entrepreneurial-minded brain. According to the study, “Roughly 60 percent of students interested in an entrepreneurial career path had an entrepreneur friend, and over two-thirds had a parent or mentor as a role model. The most prized data source for MBA students was current entrepreneurs.”

Having a concrete example of the type of person you want to be, work you want to do, or other factors of life you’d like to experience is always a good idea. It can be integral to the visualization mindset that is often necessary to achieve big goals and actualize dreams.

Whether you’re planning on approaching entrepreneurship as an eventual option, working on a team with a startup, collaborating on a project, or just taking on a new client, the principles of that lifestyle can be applied to so many different careers in a variety of fields.

Approach your work with some simple tips, and make sure your workflows and tech are set up effectively for success. Our search engine for some (of the best jobs you’ll see online) will be waiting.