Grad employment offtake puts IBA top of Pakistan’s Ivy League

By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune

KARACHI: If a high number of students receiving multiple job offers even before they graduate is the chief yardstick to measure a business school’s performance, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) is certainly in a league of its own.

“Some of our students received as many as six job offers before they had graduated,” IBA Dean and Director Dr Ishrat Husain said while speaking to The Express Tribune on Friday.

Out of the 196 IBA BBAs, who actively looked for jobs in 2012, as many as 170 – or 86.7% – managed to find employment of their liking, according to the IBA’s employment survey released earlier this month. The average monthly starting salary for BBA graduates in 2012 was Rs43,200, compared to last year’s Rs36,700, reflecting an increase of 18%.

The banking sector has been the chief employer of IBA graduates in recent years. But the percentage of BBAs joining the banking sector was 18.8% this year, compared to 39% two years ago. Although the banking sector offered a salary of salary of Rs36,900 a month on average in 2012 – which is Rs6,300 less than the overall average salary this year – it still remains the single largest employer of IBA BBAs.

Husain says the fact that the number of IBA graduates entering the banking field has come down by almost 50% in just a couple of years should be attributed to slower expansion in the banks’ branch network.

The education sector remained the second-largest employer of IBA BBAs this year with 13.5% graduates entering the field at an average salary of Rs36,000 per month. About 78.3% graduates joining the education field were female, according to the employment survey.

Many of the BBAs entering the education field return to IBA after getting the mandatory work experience required for the MBA programme, according to Husain.

Financial institutions were also a less preferred employer for IBA BBAs in 2012, as only 5.9% of graduates joined them at an average salary of Rs39,700 a month. Unlike the education sector, which attracted more than twice the number of BBAs this year compared to 2011, the number of IBA graduates joining the financial sector actually decreased from 14% to 5.9% over the same period.

IBA BBAs received the highest average monthly salaries in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), telecommunications and manufacturing sectors with Rs70,000, Rs67,000 and Rs35,000, respectively, according to the employment survey.

Commenting about the low level of interest among IBA graduates in joining the textile sector, Husain says it was due to the “seth mentality” prevailing in the industry. “We have taught our students professional management, so they do not want to become part of the textile industry for obvious reasons,” he said.

The employment survey says 90.5% of the fresh MBAs who actively sought jobs this year found employment of their liking. The average monthly salary for IBA MBAs in 2012 was Rs66,400, which is almost 24% higher than the last year’s average.

Sales and distribution, FMCG and IT sectors attracted 26.3%, 18.4% and 15.8%, respectively, of IBA MBAs in 2012, the survey said.

“While the general impression is that there are few jobs because of the sluggish economic growth in recent years, the truth is that there are ample employment opportunities for graduates of quality educational institutions,” Husain said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22, 2012.

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