It's a dirty job, but some MBA has to do it


...But it is the energy sector that is among the most vibrant, whether in oil and gas, nuclear or renewables. Marie-Jose Beaudin, head of careers services at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management in Canada, says she has noticed a growing interest in what she describes as "dirty" industries such as metals and mining, engineering and even tobacco. She believes that this is happening because students see them as more stable than finance. And they also believe that they will offer better global opportunities at a time when jobs in many other sectors are still concentrated in the America or Western Europe.

Ms Beaudin also points out that manufacturing and engineering firms have improved the way that they target MBA-level candidates. "In many ways they've aped what banks and tech companies have pioneered and are now using this to snatch the best people away," she says. "We consequently now see students genuinely excited about working for companies that in the past just weren't considered sexy or dynamic at all."

How long will this triumph of dirty jobs will last? Susan Klein of the careers department at MIT Sloan reckons there are still plenty of students who hanker after a job in financial services, but who now view it is a long-term option rather than one for immediately after graduation. And even if banking has become unfashionable, and some of the brightest and best students are looking at less risky industries, memories of the financial meltdown of 2009 are bound to fade. When they do, the lure of the banks' big bucks will no doubt put them at the top of the MBA career tree once more...

Read full article: The Economist, January 31, 2012