Feb 7, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

As more MBA grads look to Big Tech for employment, the financial services sector is taking a new approach aimed at luring them back. Here’s a closer look at why finance has fallen, along with what the industry is doing to increase its appeal with b-school grads, as recently reported by The Financial Times.

The Temptation of Tech

“Investment banking has lost its business school chic,” proclaims FT. While it was the top career choice for MBA grads a decade ago, it has since been superseded by marketing and consulting jobs. Meanwhile, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are looking to top business schools for the best and brightest talent.

At the same time, more MBA students are viewing b-school degrees as a foot in the door of Big Tech -- and to eventually starting their own businesses. Said one law school assistant dean of career development, “Last week I had 14 banks on campus here with full interview schedules with students. However, my instinct is that there are more students today that see a path into the big tech companies as the reason for doing an MBA.”

Beyond the Big Bucks

While banks could once count on high salaries to draw employees, money is no longer a distinguishing factor as starting pay ranges across all industries are comparable. So what can the finance industry do to stand out?

“Banks still hire people but they have to up their game. If you are going to attract the current generation of students you have to give them something that has meaning and purpose, not just the opportunity to make a lot of money,” another b-school dean told FT.

Specifically, finance employers are emphasizing “quality of the roles available” over compensation.

According to JPMorgan Chase co-head of campus recruiting, “If we are spending a lot of time and money to hire these talented individuals, we want to make sure that when we get them there is something interesting and challenging for them to do."

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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