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Manufacturing comeback provides new opportunities for MBAs

  • MBA Alvernia

MBAs could help guide manufacturing into the future.

According to a June report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 2014 business school graduates were more successful at receiving early job offers in manufacturing than those going into industries such as finance or consulting.

MBA EmploymentThe manufacturing, engineering and industrial sectors are huge. The trend in manufacturing operations returning to the United States is reported as a major impetus behind the career opportunities for MBA graduates. These opportunities can include positions in logistics, purchasing or other areas requiring the management of how products are produced and delivered to customers.

In addition, the 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey from GMAC  says the top functional areas where manufacturers intend to place recent graduate business hires include marketing and sales, finance, business development and human resources and organizational management.

Like many sectors, manufacturers’ goals this year are to improve performance and productivity, expand their customer base and launch new products. Companies are eyeing MBA-level candidates to help them accomplish these goals. An MBA can strengthen a manufacturing employee’s skills in decision-making, people management and managerial finance.

Business school graduates might have overlooked manufacturing careers in the past couple decades because of stories of downsizing and shutdowns. But, high-technology has transformed manufacturing and MBAs can now find factories offering perks and assignments similar to those in tech firms. Technical knowledge of computers and engineering can open even more doors for MBAs seeking careers in manufacturing.

Overall, demand for MBAs is staying strong across a variety of industries. Fifty-seven percent of 2014 business school graduates seeking jobs had at least one early offer, the GMAC survey also reports. That’s a slight dip from 60 percent in 2013, but almost double the 32 percent who had offers in 2010. The survey was of 3,049 business school graduates at 111 universities.

In the Reading area, top manufacturing companies include East Penn Manufacturing, Carpenter Technology and Penske Truck Leasing, while Air Products, PPL and Mack Trucks keep thousands employed in the Allentown area. The industrial roots remain strong in eastern Pennsylvania, which is great news for current MBA graduates.


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