Employment & Careers
What Columbia Is Known For
Finance. Given the school’s New York City location, it’s no surprise that Columbia sends a large number of students into finance; 37% of the Class of 2014 went into financial services in some capacity. However, “finance” is a big tent at Columbia, and grads made an array of choices, ranging from hedge fund management (6%) to investment management (6%) to private equity/venture capital (5%). And, of course, investment banking remains Columbia’s largest placement in this industry, with 16% of the class placing into I-banking roles.
Real estate. Although Columbia’s 4% placement in the real estate industry may not seem impressive at first glance, this figure is almost triple most business schools, which typically place in the 0.5–1% range into the real estate industry. The only school that matches Columbia’s placement in this industry is UCLA Anderson, which also placed 4% of its Class of 2015 in this sector. Haas and Wharton came close with 3% of their classes placing into real estate. Columbia’s strong placement in this industry is not surprising given its solid academic programming in real estate and a center dedicated to the industry.
Luxury retail. While Columbia placed 7% of its Class of 2015 into consumer goods and retail, which is somewhat on par with other top-tier schools, Columbia has an edge in the luxury retail goods sector as a school that offers courses dedicated to this niche market and a strong reputation in the field. The school’s location also helps. LVMH Moet Hennessey–Louis Vuitton is listed as a company that hired more than one student from a recent class, as are Estee Lauder, Coach Inc., and Chanel.
Media and entertainment. We were surprised to discover that, despite a strong media program at Columbia, the school sends just less than 2% of its MBAs into the field. Nonetheless, students considering a career in this industry should not focus just on this statistic, as the school’s strong reputation and large class size and its Media and Technology Program mean that it can attract many of the biggest names, including NBCUniversal, Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony.
Consulting. Consulting remains a popular choice for Columbia grads (35% for the Class of 2015). That’s a higher percentage of the class than at HBS, Wharton, or Stanford.