There will be an increase in hiring for graduates with Bachelor’s degrees among various business functions, according to a recruiting trends report by Michigan State University’s (MSU) Collegiate Employment Research Institute, but not in the financial services sector.
Demand is strong for accounting, marketing, human resources, and public relations majors, contributing to a 7 percent increase in hiring. However the report, which surveyed almost 6,500 hiring managers and recruiters, says that the financial services sector is actually dragging down the hiring rate for Bachelor’s degrees from “double-digit expansion”.
MBAs have it worse. They face a 58 percent loss in job opportunities within the sector, compared with a 27 percent loss among graduates with Bachelor’s degrees. In fact, the report calls the contraction in the labour market for graduates with advanced degrees in finance “disturbing”, since finance graduates make up a large proportion of business schools but with no jobs to meet the demand.
Across all degrees, hiring for financial services is expected to decrease by 40 percent.
The report illustrates a souring job market thanks to a rise in interest rates, a decline in mortgage activity, the growth in online banking, and new banking regulations. Financial firms, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, have announced big layoffs in their mortgage units, and cuts are expected to continue in 2014.
Finance graduates, therefore, are migrating from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper cites “lingering aftereffects of the financial crisis” and “more meaningful work” as some of the drivers to this trend.
Graduates are also showing interest in other finance-related areas, such as impact investing, as they look for places where they can drive innovation and create the most impact. But the sector doesn’t need them yet and for a while, according to Sasha Dichter, Acumen’s Chief Innovation Officer, who writes that in the nascent field, jobs aren’t there to be scooped up. Instead, what the sector needs is “jobs creators” who can shape, envision, and move the sector to a “better destination”.
Still, breaking into impact investing is not impossible, especially for those with prior experience in banking or private equity roles. According to the MSU report, the challenges for job-seeking college graduates will never be any different. The jobs will go to those who target them, know how to secure them, and can tap their professional network for assistance.
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