Not as Wanted: MBA Graduates From Overseas

Not as Wanted: MBA Graduates From Overseas

Why you should care

U.S. employers are growing more cautious when it comes to hiring foreigners thanks to tighter work visa rules.

Foreign MBA students are being shut out of a buoyant U.S. jobs market for people with their qualifications because of the red tape required to hire them, business school careers advisers have warned.

Hiring of MBA graduates has risen at several leading U.S. business schools this year, according to recently published employment reports.

But while those with American citizenship are enjoying the rewards of an increase in companies seeking MBA graduates, hiring levels among non-U.S. students have fallen at several institutions.

At the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, for example, the proportion of American MBA students receiving at least one job offer within 90 days of graduation was 94 percent this year, slightly up from 93 percent in 2017. But among overseas students, the proportion was just 85 percent this year, down from 92 percent in 2017.

The divergence reflects employers’ caution about taking on foreign recruits because of the higher level of proof needed to secure work visas, according to Jeff McNish, assistant dean at Darden’s Career Development Center.

“Our international students are struggling,” he says. “Government policy on immigration is the only reason.”

It was a similar picture at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where 93.7 percent of this year’s entire MBA class had accepted jobs within three months of graduation, an improvement on 91.3 percent in the same period in 2017.

For those students with a permanent U.S. residence, the percentage with jobs three months after graduation increased from 91.2 percent last year to 94.3 percent in 2018. But the percentage of non-U.S. students accepting positions dipped from 91.8 percent to 91.5 percent.

Beth Briggs, Stern’s assistant dean of career services, says her team has been encouraging non-U.S. MBA students to start job hunting earlier.

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By Jonathan Moules

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