Sep 6, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Wall Street has long been a mecca for freshly minted MBA grads. Now comes data from Training The Street indicating that bulge bracket firms are far from first choice for MBAs. Here’s a closer look at the phenomenon, as recently reported by Bloomberg.

Choosing a Different Direction

According to a June survey conducted of more than 200 recent graduates, just 19 percent of new MBAs list Wall Street as their top pick for employment. This signifies a seven percent decrease from last year as well as a drop to the lowest percentage in the survey’s eight-year history.

Startups also took a hit last year for reasons including concerns about valuations and delays in going public, according to Bloomberg. In fact, just five percent of MBAs are seeking  {{#languages}} work in this challenging sector.

“A Different Kind of Lifestyle”

To what can the shift away from Wall Street be attributed?  According to Training The Street founder and CEO Scott Rostan, ““Banks are still a dominant hiring force for MBAs and continue to attract top talent, but working for larger, established companies off of Wall Street is becoming more attractive to MBAs as they offer a different type of lifestyle.”

Job security is also a concern -- especially for stability-minded Millennials. Continued Rostan, “MBAs want to make sure the job they accept is going to be a good, long term fit. This also correlates with the finding that more are looking for that first job outside of Wall Street, a place known for sudden job moves, especially during the early stages of one’s career.”

Which begs the question: If not to Wall Street, where are new MBA grads headed? Areas experiencing an uptick in MBA interest include consulting work (20 percent), corporate development at Fortune 2000 companies (13 percent) and boutique banks (12 percent).

Read more about MBAs in Economic Studies.


Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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