It’s no secret that the Class of 2020 ended the academic year differently than expected because of the pandemic. Our Master of Management Studies: Foundations of Business (MMS: FOB) students found themselves job searching while navigating sometimes challenging personal circumstances in different geographies.

Despite these challenges, our careers report shows 2020 MMS graduates landed jobs and experienced similar career outcomes compared with graduates from previous years. For example, 86 percent of graduates landed roles by the end of the calendar year, which is similar to the average of the previous years since the program started.

The breadth of interests across the MMS program was represented with more than 60 companies hiring graduates for short-term and full-time opportunities. The roster of companies represented large, multinational firms like Walmart and Wells Fargo as well as startups across 12 sectors. Hive Networks, a health tech company and Marcus & Millichap in the commercial real estate space also added MMS graduates to their ranks.  

While consulting and finance remained the top industries, collectively representing 55 percent of full-time roles, 2020 saw an increase in health care, technology, education and marketing employment. Cisco, AstraZeneca and Credit Suisse were just some of the more well-known organizations. A dozen companies hired international students for positions within the U.S., with 11 of them hiring MMS grads for the first time.

While most MMS graduates landed jobs, some continued their education after graduation, pursuing advanced degrees in areas like law. In 2020, we noticed three key factors that influenced where graduates landed:

1. An Increase in Short-Term Opportunities

Typically, MMS job seekers focus on obtaining full-time positions, post graduation. But the uncertainty of the market enticed 23 percent of graduates to seek short-term employment.

This allowed them to gauge their interests while gaining on-the-job skills, all while pursuing the best full-time fit. A subset of this group took the opportunity to participate in the Fuqua Volunteer Corps program, assisting non-profit organizations during the pandemic.

2. Expansion of our Global Footprint

The variety of locations continues to illustrate the global reach of the MMS program. While the Northeast remained the top location in the U.S. (15 percent of full-time roles), Asia became the top region for hiring, representing 33 percent of all full-time hires. Citic Securities and Huatai Securities both made multiple hires.

3. Our Network Stepped Up to Help

The willingness of our alumni and others in our network to help Fuqua students was especially evident with 79 percent of full-time offers resulting from graduate-facilitated networking and alumni outreach (up from 63 percent in 2019).

I am proud of where our graduates landed in 2020. I believe the 2020 career data shows the resilience of our graduates in pursuit of meaningful opportunities. I’m looking forward to seeing all the ways our newest alumni will make their companies, communities and the world better.