Do you want to have a successful career? Then forget your studies and invest in your idea. Throw yourself into the world of business, get your hands dirty, step up to the plate.
This was the mantra of countless successful leaders of the major Silicon Valley companies, who have monopolised the covers of business magazines in recent years, sharing insight into their courage and desire to break the rules.
Now, however, the new economy is no longer about simple talent and doing things your own way.
While in recent years the start-up phenomenon has fuelled the belief that in order to become a management wizard or successful entrepreneur you needed a knack for business, a genius idea and a strong onus on professional development, now the market data is painting a completely different picture.
The big players in the digital and tech sector – such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google to cite but a few – are increasingly on the lookout for talents with an MBA in their pocket, hiring many more MBA graduates than the consultancy, banking and finance sectors (which have always been the biggest magnets for alumni of the world’s best business schools).
The Financial Times has picked up on this fascinating phenomenon in an article on a new trend fuelling the creation of a virtuous cycle of training, leadership and digital/tech companies.
So why this alliance between big digital companies and the smartest talents from the world’s MBA programmes? In truth, there are a number of concrete motives. Let’s take a look at the most important.
1. Required skills are changing
A start-up finding its feet in the tech/digital sector needs engineers and salespeople – the former to develop the idea, the latter to sell it and attract investment. But when new companies begin to grow, the business structure gets a bit more complex, and purely operational employees are no longer enough. You need talents capable of thinking strategically, of taking a comprehensive view of the situation, of getting to know the business from every angle. So who better than a professional with an MBA on their CV to fulfill such a complex role?
2. International approach needed
Markets without borders. Multicultural teams. Daunted by such a diverse melting pot of influences? An MBA student certainly won’t be – they’re well-accustomed to operating in diverse environments, whether that’s in the classroom, networking with students from the four corners of the world or travelling to business schools overseas. The result? A veritable army of open-minded professionals using their cultural diversity as an asset, a source of motivation and a way of making themselves and their companies more competitive. As Amazon’s Director of University Recruiting Miriam Park puts it, MBA graduates are “bringing a different way of looking at our business”.
3. Challenging roles and incredible benefits
Would it surprise you to know that the most qualified students – those with an MBA in their pockets – are choosing a career in the world of digital over a job in the banking sector, with its old-school appeal? It shouldn’t: the perks are out of this world. Google offers its employees great benefits such as free hairdressing and gym facilities, while Facebook hands out $4,000 to employees when they become parents and Airbnb offers a generous bonus for staff to spend on travel. The facts speak for themselves: an ever-increasing number of budding managers are preferring to put themselves out there and forge a career with the new companies rather than stick with the old players.