Canadian MBAs laugh all the way to the bank

American MBA students graduate into gloom and contraction, but Financial Times says Canadian banks are still hiring

According to The New York Times, MBA students “graduating this year know they are less likely to get a job offer in investment banking.” For a lot of them, the most prestigious, best-paying job — investment banking — is no longer on the table. MBAs, says the Times, are “looking beyond Wall Street.”

But the story for Canadian MBA grads looking for jobs in banking and investment is completely different. Canada and its banks are in a unique position. Financial crisis? Bank failures? Hasn’t happened here; hasn’t affected hiring. Or so says an in-depth look at the job market for Canadian MBAs, from The Financial Times.

Many MBA students preparing to graduate this year have been labelled unlucky for finishing their degrees just in time to enter a depressed job market.

But for those who chose Canadian business schools the prospects of landing work are more optimistic.

So far Canada has largely bucked the trend that has seen hiring levels worldwide plummet this year, especially in the financial sector. Overall job numbers are down, but Canada’s biggest banks are hiring and its financial sector has not seen its job market falter like that of the US.

In the US, business schools report as much as a 50 per cent drop in financial sector hiring, in part due to the disappearance of groups such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. However, in Canada, banks describe the current climate as a growth opportunity and are busy plucking top talent from international competitors.