Tech Companies Need More Than Just Tech Talent

Tech Companies Need More Than Just Tech Talent

New research from Glassdoor examines the job openings at major employers in the US tech sector to find out what roles these companies are hiring for. While tech companies have demonstrated an insatiable demand for digital-specific talent like software engineers, data scientists, and experts in AI and machine learning, they also require the same diverse set of skills and functions as other large, complex organizations. Accordingly, Glassdoor finds, 43 percent of open positions at tech companies are non-tech roles, accounting for almost 53,000 jobs. The ratio of tech to non-tech hiring varies widely, however, from one company to another:

Overall, Intel, Microsoft and Walmart eCommerce were hiring the highest percent of tech roles compared to non-tech roles, with 78 percent of their open roles being tech roles. Another tech company hiring predominantly tech workers was Amazon, with 72 percent of the roles on Glassdoor being categorized as tech roles. Despite having a large network of warehouse and logistics operations, tech giant Amazon is still mostly a tech employer.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, only 28 percent of Workday’s open roles were tech-related, with 72 percent being for more traditional non-tech jobs. The majority of job postings at IBM, Salesforce and Verizon were also for non-tech roles. Among Salesforce’s open roles, 41 percent were tech roles while 59 percent were non-tech roles. Similarly, Verizon had about 45 percent tech roles and IBM had 46 percent tech roles open out of their total openings.

The most common non-tech jobs advertised at these companies are account executives and project managers, along with a variety of sales, marketing, and management positions, but the tech sector is also hiring for a wide variety of other roles. Overall, Glassdoor found, most salaries for non-tech jobs range from $50,000-$90,000 per year, compared to $80,000-$120,000 for most tech roles.

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Finance Losing Ground to Tech as Employer of Choice for MBAs

Finance Losing Ground to Tech as Employer of Choice for MBAs

For a very long time, investment banks and other financial institutions were the preferred destinations for business school graduates. Those companies offered the highest salaries, the greatest prestige, and the opportunity to live in the world’s most vibrant cities, particularly New York. Today, thanks to numerous factors, the tech industry is displacing finance as the preferred employer for newly-minted MBAs because it can offer similarly high salaries, better office conditions, and the flexibility to either live in a major city or work remotely from anywhere—a growing preference among workers of all types. Even though tech jobs can be demanding, that’s less of a concern for people who have experienced the long-hour, high-pressure work of finance or consulting.

In October of last year, the Wall Street Journal‘s Kelsey Gee reported that Amazon had become the top recruiter at Carnegie Mellon, Duke, and the University of California, Berkeley; and the most prevalent internship destination for students at Michigan, MIT, Dartmouth and Duke. All of those schools’ MBA programs are ranked in the top 20 in the country by US News & World Report, and some are in the top 10. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant has deliberately lured these graduates away from the big banks with an aggressive recruiting strategy, which involves hosting events before school even starts, sending armies of recruiters to campus, and sponsoring case competitions. Gee noted that while tech companies had previously been hesitant to hire business school grads, they are finding an improved culture fit. Given that Amazon and other tech companies need to scale their businesses rapidly, it makes sense to have more people around who know their way around a balance sheet.

This week at the Financial Times, Jonathan Moules spotted this same trend developing internationally as well, noting that banks in Europe are also feeling pressure to compete for MBA talent with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. JPMorgan Chase ceased its on-campus recruiting program at European business schools entirely in 2013, as it was hiring too few graduates. The bank continues to recruit MBAs in the US but has changed its approach, putting greater emphasis on quality of life, stable holidays, and international rotation opportunities in a counteroffer to some of the tech sector’s main draws. It’s not just big tech companies that are luring these grads away, however: One European student told Moules that most of his classmates wanted to start their own businesses.

In general, the MBA is currently at a bit of a crossroads. Full-time enrollment and applications have gone down for three years in a row while companies are less likely to pay for their employees to complete them than they have been in the past. More specialized business programs have also cut into their prospect pool, with many opting for programs in analytics, operations, or finance to better fit their needs. There will always be a market for managerial talent, but now that the tech sector is becoming a leading buyer in that market, business schools themselves may need to change to cater to students whose career goals lie outside finance or management consulting.

Only Half of Eligible UK Companies Using Apprenticeship Levy Funds

Only Half of Eligible UK Companies Using Apprenticeship Levy Funds

Only about half of the companies eligible to use funds from the UK’s apprentice levy, which came into effect this April, to pay for training programs have taken advantage of this option, the latest official figures show. And this is raising concerns that businesses may be “writing off the apprenticeship levy as a tax,” Emily Burt writes for People Management:

Just 10,500 apprenticeship service accounts were registered on the system at the end of August, according to the official figures, falling short of the estimated 19,150 levy-paying companies eligible to use the service. …

Elizabeth Crowley, skills adviser at the CIPD, said the government must do more to make sure employers were actively engaging with the levy: “In our view the government needs to be doing more work to ensure employers are making a choice in not using the levy, instead of being unaware of it. It is equally important that if there is an underspend, the funds are ring-fenced and used for supporting employer training, as there is a danger it could simply go back into the government’s coffer, and not be used to increase skills training and investment in the UK economy.”

Among those organizations that are using apprenticeship levy funds, many are using them in unexpected ways.

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Is the Full-Time MBA Worth It?

Is the Full-Time MBA Worth It?

When the economic recession of the late 2000s hit, the period of mass layoffs and job scarcity made it an ideal time to pursue graduate study in the interest of better competing in a tough labor market. This meant a rise in applications for MBA programs, with the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) finding in 2010 that half of graduate business programs saw an increase in applications. However, with the job market improving and the economy relatively stable, full-time MBA programs in the United States have seen a drop in applications for the third year in a row, Kelsey Gee reported at the Wall Street Journal this week.

Gee points to more than just environmental factors explaining the drop in interest. Specialized masters degrees have cut into the MBA pool, offering focused programs on critical skill sets, such as business analytics, which are shorter, cheaper, and more practical for advancing one’s career.

“Ten years ago the MBA was the only option you had,” J.P. Matychak, an associate dean at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, told the Journal. “But the market has shifted, and business schools, like any company, have to shift with it to meet the demand of our customers.”

A portion of the drop is also attributable to lower interest from international applicants given concerns around the Trump Administration’s handling of immigration and work eligibility problems that may arise after graduation from a US program. Local employment prospects are, after all, a key driver of a school’s attractiveness. This is also demonstrated by the uptick in international applications to Canadian and European business schools.

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Is the MBA Getting Disrupted?

Is the MBA Getting Disrupted?

Would-be business students are increasingly eschewing the traditional, full-time MBA for online programs and more specialized degrees, the Economist observes, in a shift that stands to shake up the business school landscape:

Students who take the specialist business degrees and who then start in the workforce are far less likely to want to stop five years into their job and take a full-time MBA. And recruiters, too, are less keen on hiring MBAs. Big banks, in particular, hit by the crisis, no longer run huge business-school recruiting programmes. Employers now have two main needs, say MBA experts. They are looking for people they think have leadership skills, and who can come up with ideas on strategy, but they also need graduates who can carry out specific, complex tasks. They tend to raid generalist MBA programmes for the former and specialised masters programmes for the latter.

Those bent on the generalist qualification, meanwhile, are increasingly choosing internet MBAs.

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Most Employers Won’t Pay for an MBA

Most Employers Won’t Pay for an MBA

Several organizations have made headlines recently with their programs to help employees pay for college or graduate school. Starbucks’s partnership with Arizona State University was profiled extensively in the Atlantic last year, and more recently, Cigna revealed that its tuition assistance program was a huge success, calculating an ROI of 129 percent. They’re not alone: SHRM’s 2016 Benefits Survey found that 55 percent of employers offered assistance for employees pursuing undergraduate degrees, and 52 percent for graduate degrees.

There seems to be one degree, however, that employers are much less willing to help pay for than they used to be, Ally Marotti reports for the Chicago Tribune:

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A Gig Economy for Professional Services

A Gig Economy for Professional Services

Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner shines a spotlight on HourlyNerd, an “Uber for MBAs” that promises (or threatens) to disrupt the market for management consultants:

In the same way Uber built a network of drivers, and Craigslist can help you find someone willing to paint your back porch tomorrow, the company that [Rob] Biederman and [Patrick] Petitti cofounded, HourlyNerd, has attracted 22,000 independent consultants with MBA degrees from 45 top universities, all willing to do projects for clients that range from the corner clothing boutique to conglomerates like General Electric. …

And these online expert networks could evolve into potent competition for some of the best-known management consulting firms, like McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group. The traditional consultants are a bit like the livery companies that were the only game in town before Uber arrived: high-touch and expensive, but don’t try to call them 10 minutes before you need them to show up.

HourlyNerd was born as a class project at Harvard Business School in early 2013 with the theory that business school students and alumni might want to earn some extra cash by taking on consulting projects. By the end of 2013, the company had raised $750,000, the majority of it from Mark Cuban, the “Shark Tank” investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, who had responded to an e-mail pitch from the founders. HourlyNerd has since raised another $9 million, and it employs about 55 people.

But the professional services industry isn’t taking this implied threat to their business model lying down: PricewaterhouseCoopers, for instance, recently launched a freelance platform of its own, as part of a trend of legacy companies embracing the gig economy either by building their own platforms or buying premium services from platforms like UpWork and Hired.