Traditionally, business graduates tend to take jobs in the finance sector, become executives, or even start their own businesses. That’s been shifting a bit in the last decade, however, as careers in the tech industry have become more attractive.
According to data from top business schools, 18% of Harvard business students took jobs in the tech industry in 2013, from 12% in 2012. Stanford saw similar shifts during this time period, with 32% of their class taking jobs in tech, up from 13% two years prior. These massive shifts in just a few years signal a larger trend in how business majors will look for jobs in the future.
While the salaries in technology might be a bit lower overall for business graduates, they can still make a very attractive salary of around $138,000 annually in these fields. But that’s not the main reason we’re seeing this shift. Many business majors are seeking more than money—they’re seeking innovation.
Gearing up for the Future
Finance sector jobs have always been attractive to business graduates because they promise high salaries and plenty of opportunities. The world and the job market are changing, however, and business graduates are gearing up for the future by looking to the industry showing the most growth and promise: Tech.
When it comes to today’s biggest companies, nearly all of them are in the technology space. Apple and Amazon are worth $1 trillion apiece, with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook not far behind. Seeing tech companies dominate and learning from the example of prominent tech leaders may be one of the reasons business school graduates find working in tech so attractive these days.
Technology is the future, and business professionals are getting ready to ride the wave as it builds.
Technology Is Good Business
One of the main reasons new business graduates are moving into the tech space is because there’s so much potential. The starting salaries in the technology industry are similar to other jobs for business majors—those with a bachelor’s degree typically earn around $70,000 to $80,000 per year. However, some new tech workers make up to $110,000 annually.
The biggest financial motivation of breaking into the tech industry, however, is the potential. While starting salaries may be similar, the tech industry is growing and there is nearly unlimited potential for future salary growth and innovation in these fields. Technology is big business, and business majors who are smart about which opportunities they accept can enjoy impressive success in the industry.
Are You Ready?
If you’re a business major and you’re thinking about making a career in the fast-paced tech industry, then you may be wondering how to break into the field and land a job with growth potential. The good news for job-seekers is that the industry is having trouble filling some positions and tends to offer a lot of opportunity for growth.
Business school graduates typically need a few specialized skills to break into the technology field. Although not all jobs at tech companies require technical know-how, most employers in this sector will expect all employees to have a basic understanding of the technology the company works with.
For this reason, it’s a good idea for business majors looking to land a job in tech to pick up some programming skills and knowledge. You certainly don’t have to double major in computer science and business, but a minor can help, or even teaching yourself one of the basic programming languages via an online eLearning platform.
Many tech startups today are also looking for a culture fit. When job hunting, it’s important to play up not only your technical abilities but your emotional intelligence and your ability to get along with others in a collaborative setting. Innovation requires teams that work well together and do not engage in gossip, politics, or other toxic behavior. You can set yourself up for success by demonstrating your ability to work well with others.
The Best of Both Worlds
Working in tech as a business major can be a great choice. You’ll have the opportunity to help tech companies reach their full potential by using your business savvy to help them make smart and strategic decisions. You’ll also be involved in the biggest industry in the United States, a sector bursting with innovation, opportunity, and great paychecks. It’s truly the best of both worlds—which is why so many business school graduates are looking toward top tech companies, not the country’s most prestigious banks.