Companies Shying Away From MBA Grads

February 25, 2003 ( - Business schools are reporting fewer corporate recruiters on their campuses as businesses pull away from the MBA market.

The majority of business schools are reporting fewer corporate recruiters than last year, some experiencing as much as a 50% drop in the number of companies on campus. The weak economy, depressed stock market, and threat of war are making companies wary of hiring expensive MBA talent until it is absolutely necessary, according to, The Wall Street Journal’s career site for college students.

Those MBA graduates being courted are discovering the cupboards are bare.   Base salaries for MBA graduates are being kept flat at half of those firms surveyed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.   Further, those companies planning to boost the opening offer only plan to do so by 3.9%.   Additionally, signing bonuses, year-end bonuses and stock options are becoming smaller or nonexistent.

Not surprisingly, students at prestigious schools seemed to be spared from the drought. Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, Columbia and other top schools report that recruiting activity is about level with last year. In fact, they are attracting companies that used to visit second- and third-tier schools but now are making what some recruiters call a “flight to quality.”