July 30, 2001

Los Angeles — With the downturn in high-technology and Internet businesses, the so-called "old economy" companies are back in favor with MBA graduates, according to UCLA Anderson.

A majority of the 2001 class have landed positions in consulting, investment banking and Fortune 500 companies, said Alysa Polkes, director of the Parker Career Management Center. This is in sharp contrast to a year ago, when the high-tech sector attracted the largest number of graduates — 29 percent. Well over half of these — 19 percent — were pursuing jobs in Internet services.

"UCLA Anderson students are leveraging their versatile academic and professional training, and demonstrating flexibility in the face of a challenging job market due to the slowing economy. They are well-equipped to make valuable contributions to a wide range of employers, including corporations, consulting firms and investment banking firms," Polkes said.

Preliminary survey results show that the consulting and investment banking industries saw the biggest increase in placements. About 25 percent of the 2001 class accepted positions with consulting firms, an increase from 17 percent last year. About 30 percent of the graduates — compared with 23 percent last year — are pursuing careers in the investment banking field.

Other fields which attracted more UCLA Anderson MBA graduates include venture capital firms, the food/beverage/tobacco industry, the automotive industry and real estate. Polkes said the employment increases in industries such as food/beverage/tobacco and automotive reflect the trend back to Fortune 500 companies, such as Ford Motor Company, General Mills, Toyota Motor Corporation and The Clorox Company.

In terms of job functions, Polkes said 50 percent of the 2001 class are doing finance work, up from 41 percent who found jobs doing finance last year. About 25 percent of the 2001 class accepted positions as consultants — another traditional occupation for MBA grads. The marketing profession continued to draw about 15 percent of UCLA Anderson graduates. As a reflection of the Internet and dot-com decline, fewer MBA graduates are pursuing business development. Five graduates — compared to 25 graduates last year — reported they were starting their own companies.

MBA graduates are more willing to take jobs outside of California this year, the survey shows. Polkes said 53 percent of the graduates found jobs in California, compared to 70 percent last year. Slightly more graduates reported taking positions in New York City, the Midwest and Southwest, while fewer students found jobs in the Bay Area.

A preliminary tally of UCLA Anderson MBA starting salary packages (including signing bonuses and end-of-year bonuses that are now common) for all industries puts the median at about $115,000. Consulting, finance and marketing salaries are all up. In consulting, the median base salary is $110,000; finance, $85,000; and marketing, $81,000. Combined with signing bonuses and guaranteed bonuses, the compensation packages generally increase by about $20,000.

UCLA Anderson is in the top tier of graduate business schools in the United States. Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson has 120 faculty members serving more than 600 full-time MBA students, approximately 400 fully-employed MBA students, more than 200 Executive MBA students, and 80 Ph.D. candidates.

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