Business schools are preparing students for a wider array of careers than ever before. Gone are the days when most students were expected to choose a consultancy or c-suite role—a wider choice of specializations, along with career support, are helping grads find their true passion.
In fact, the top three functions for business school graduates are in management (24%), finance and accounting (21%), and marketing and sales (18%), and more graduates than ever before are looking at roles in technology and the services industry.
At the John Molson School of Business, Career Management Services offers a range of tools to help business master’s students conquer the job market, such as networking opportunities with companies, workshops on resumes and interviewing, and helping international students with understanding the Canadian job market.
While some master’s students pursue a PhD after graduation, 83% of John Molson MSc graduates enter the job market, landing positions at major companies such as Deloitte, the Government of Quebec, and Kuehne Nael.
So what sorts of industries and positions could you be working in after your business master’s degree? We spoke to Mai-Gee Hum and Bob Menard (above) from the Career Management Services department to see what kinds of exciting positions their students are landing after their business master’s degree at John Molson.
Analyst positions are one of the most popular career routes for business master’s graduates, say Mai-Gee and Bob.
Life as an analyst is varied, depending on the niche you enter, but the role usually involves identifying improvements to business processes, proposing solutions to business problems, and often providing feedback on business systems.
With the opportunity to wear many hats, the analyst role is popular among master’s graduates who want an exciting career with the opportunity to take on plenty of responsibility.
Bob says that, particularly compared to the last few years, students now use a master’s in business to enter the industry: indeed, “a lot of students, off the bat, their intention is to use the MSc to go into the workplace as opposed to further study,” he asserts.
“Whether that’s because academia has changed, and there aren’t as many opportunities available—I’m not sure.”
Mai-Gee even suggests that this switch towards industry roles may require a change in how MSc programs are taught.
“Universities need to realize the appetite for masters’ level students to go into the industry is growing,” she explains, “and the curriculum may need to evolve to meet those needs. Having a very theoretical type of framework designed for future careers in the confines of academia—that’s going to be obsolete sooner than we know it.”
Connor Neuendorff is just one of John Molson’s graduates who successfully landed a job as an analyst after his MSc degree. He graduated with a finance degree in 2020, and now works as a Data Quality Measurement Analyst at BNP Paribas, a role that started as an internship.
“During my job interview, they asked how I would measure the effects of COVID-19 on employees, and I was able to draw on the statistics and modelling skills I developed in the MSc,” he reflects.
He credits Career Management Services with helping him land the role, saying, “they were very involved, especially with this job, but also in teaching me how to present myself.”
During his degree, Connor also had the chance to network with major players in banking and investments at events hosted by Career Management Services. “That’s really great too,” he adds, “because otherwise you wouldn’t have exposure to those people, and you learn how to present yourself in front of them.”
While analyst positions are certainly the most popular career path for MSc students, associate positions are also rising in popularity, mainly for students “who have a little more work experience,” Mai-Gee explains.
As with analyst positions, there is a wealth of associate roles out there, ranging from customer services associate to operations associate, or the more general business associate role.
Though these jobs may require more practical business experience than analyst positions, it’s a business master graduates’ unique skills that make them prime candidates for these positions.
“MSc graduates have a more in-depth skillset when it comes to research, critical thinking, writing, and communications, as they have to defend their theses orally,” Mai-Gee says.
Still a popular career track for MSc graduates, the interest in PhD programs isn’t going away anytime soon, despite the uptick in industry placements. Studying a masters in business offers the research skills necessary to set out on a PhD.
This was exactly the career track that Debdeep Chatterjee chose after his degree in Supply Chain Management.
Debdeep, originally from India, had already worked for French energy company Schneider Electric before deciding to pursue an MSc, which he says was a “logical step.”
“You really get the opportunity to work closely with supervisors,” he says of his time on the MSc program. “From the first day, I started knocking on doors to find out about peoples’ research!”
From Debdeep’s perspective, careers advisors like Mai-Gee and Bob were massively helpful in paving the way for his career in academia.
“As a whole, everybody I know at John Molson has been super supportive—they’ve been amazing,” he says.