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Italy Post MBA Job Trends: Consulting dominates followed by Manufacturing, IT and Luxury

Post MBA in ItalyItaly is among the 8th largest economies, with a 2011 GDP of $2,250 billion. Family owned companies constitute a large part of the economy. More than 90% of Italian companies are small and medium sized that manufacture top class consumer goods all over the world. The industrial belt in Italy is centered on the Northern part of the country. This belt extends from Turin to Venice via Milan. It is one of the most prosperous areas in Europe and accounts for more than half of the national economy.

Italy’s population of 61 million is aging
, and with its low birth rate, offers immense opportunities to immigrants. It also offers the best in wine, food, culture and the famous temperate Mediterranean climate. For MBAs here, the opportunity for salary increases are incredible at SDA BocconiSalaries have increased by as much as 156%. Further, an MBA is a good means of finding a career in Europe. Whereas 60% of the class of 2011 hailed from Europe, 79% found work in Europe. At MIP, while 41% hailed from Europe, 65% found work in Italy itself.

Below are the top sectors in Italy for Post MBA opportunities.


According to FEACO's 2011 report, Italy is the 7th largest consulting market in Europe. It has a turnover of €3 billion, and expects a growth rate of 9.4%, higher than any country in Europe. The industry supports 33,844 people, a figure that includes 27,290 consultants. The turnover per employee was a very impressive €89,942. Out of the 16,000+ consulting firms, the top 35 firms own 80% of large corporations consulting spend and are mostly concentrated on the services market that cover 79% of Banking & Insurance, 77% of Utilities, and 66% of Media, Entertainment and Communications. Small and medium consulting firms earn their revenues from small and medium sized customers, and as much as 50% of their revenues come from the industrial sector.

For MBA graduates, Consulting remains a significant source of employment. At SDA Bocconi, Italy's #1 B-school, 31% of the class was hired by the Consulting Sector, the highest figure for any sector. Companies that hired include AT Kearney, Accenture, Bain & Co, Booz & Co, McKinsey & Co, Porsche Consulting, PWC, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Schlumberger Business Consultant and BCG. Similarly at MIP Milan, 24% of the class opted for the Consulting Sector. Some of the well-known names that came to campus were Bain & Co, BCG, Capgemini and McKinsey.

IT - (Cloud Computing/Telecom/Consumer Electronics)

Italy is EU's 4th largest ICT (Information and communications technologies) market according to Europa, the European Union's Information Society portal. It has a market value of €67.5 billion, and is forecast to grow by 3% in 2012. The IT market itself is worth €18.4 billion, while the telecommunications market is worth €41.8 billion. The market for cloud computing, estimated at €130 million in 2010, is expected to triple in the next 2 years, hitting €410 million in 2013.

Even as large corporations in the telecom, finance and media sectors drive growth in the IT market, other large players in retail, utilities, and manufacturing sectors are becoming a part of the growth scene. What's more, small and medium manufacturing firms, particularly the “Made in Italy” sectors like furniture, fashion, food and mechanical automation are making investments in software and hardware infrastructure. Giving a further boost to this sector is the Italian government's “Industry 2015” program where 'Made in Italy' sectors and Research Centers will be given grants worth $280 million.

For MBA graduates, this is sector that hold good potential. 16% of SDA Bocconi's Class of 2011 was hired by this sector. Amazon, Apple, EBay, Ericsson, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung and Vodafone are some of the companies that hired, giving a clear indication of the good prospects for MBAs. At MIP, 20% of the outgoing class of 2011 was hired into the services sector which includes IT, and 8% of the class had an IT-related job function. Acer, Prysmian, Bravosolution and ST Microelectronics were a few of the companies that were hired from the school.


Italy is one of the world's top producer of luxury and fashion goods and world-renowned for its design. After all "la bella figura” or ‘the good impression’ is an integral part of Italian life. Bulgari for example, is the 3rd largest luxury jeweler in the world, and the first Italian family run establishment to go public in 1995. In 2011, the FDI in this sector had reached a record $6.5 billion. And more than the Italian market, it is the world market that is the key to Italian luxury brands' future growth. Emerging markets, particularly in Asia are beginning to attract the best, requiring greater investments, outlets and marketing campaigns. By 2020, China is expected to account for 19% of the luxury goods consumed in the world. According to Prada, the famous Italian fashion label, as much as 40% of its revenues in USA will come from internet sales. All of which calls for the expertise of an MBA familiar with multi-cultural environments and modern marketing techniques.

In fact, the SDA Bocconi MBA even has a Track In Luxury Business Management (LBM), taught in conjunction with Bulgari. As a result, 14% of the class of 2011 finds employment in this sector. A wide range of global leaders in this sector hired MBA graduates. They include Adidas, Gucci, Guess, Levi's, L’Oréal, Louis Vuitton, Luxottica and Yoox. While precise statistics for this sector at MIP were not available, companies like Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo, Zegna, and Yoox hired MBAs from the school.


Italy's industrial sector makes up 24.7% of the economy and is worth around €422 billion. It is dominated by a few very large names like FIAT and thousands of small to medium sized firms which are mostly family run. They offer world-class vehicles, precision machinery, chemicals, electric goods, pharmaceuticals, fashion and clothing. FIAT itself produces around 3 million cars a year. It is considered to be among the world's best in the automobile sector with names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Piaggio and Ducati. As these and a host of other "Made in Italy" firms seek to take advantage of globalization and expand their market, MBAs prove to be an invaluable asset.

At SDA Bocconi, 12%+ was hired in this sector. Firms who picked up the MBAs include Arcelor Mittal, Brambles, Case New Holland, Everel, GE, Hilti, Lamborghini, Lombardini, Whirlpool, ExxonMobil, GE Oil& Gas, Shell, Siemens Wind Power and Vestas Spain. MIP, being part of a technical university saw as much as 48% of the class finding employment in this sector. The companies include De Longhi, Enel, Gruppo Falck, Lanxess and Sun Power Italy.

Career Services

To help students find their place in the sectors mentioned above, or any other field of their choice, the Business Schools offer a range of services. They help a student choose a career that suits the student’s post-MBA goals.

Here are the MBA Career Services offered by top 3 Business Schools in Italy

SDA Bocconi - Career Services

The class size of just 100 allows SDA Bocconi to give extra attention individually and helps students get recruiters' attention at the same time. Career Services works with students throughout the program duration, speeding up their professional as well as personal development. Individual and group sessions are also held.

Individual programs

Career Counseling

• To enable students to fully comprehend their industry sectors of interest

• Helps students evaluate their options based on pre-MBA profiles and post-MBA ambitions

• Career advice is on a daily basis

• Interactions increase during the Internship Campaign & the Permanent Campaign

• Application assistance is provided

• Post-MBA Career Plans are drawn

• Job search strategies are formulated

Coaching and Personal Branding

• Customized Coaching programs

• Empowers students to discover and develop strengths

• Helps build a “personal brand” that will attract employers from the sectors of choice

• Conducted by top industry executives and experienced, reputed consultants

Group programs

Career Seminars & Workshops

• Students are involved in deep discussions with top-rated industry experts for their job interview analysis

• The program adapts to changing economic conditions and class profiles

• Provides students a comprehensive knowledge of the job market dynamics

• Gets students ready all selection processes, including international  recruitment

• Examples: 

o Boot Camps
o Case & Competency based Interview training
o Networking skills
o Global Mobility requirements - Visa and work permits, international compensation practices
o Salary Negotiation
o Presentation skills
o Industry panels with alumni

Club Events

• Partners with Student Clubs for networking events and round tables
• Involves CEOs, entrepreneurs, top executives and headhunters

MIP - Career Services

Organizational Check up

• Has students putting into practice the methods taught in the classroom
• Students map a key company process and diagnose it
• Companies can take notice of talented students

Project work

•  A full-time, 3-month project in a company or consultancy firm
•  Students experiment and apply classroom content.
•  Many students get job offers through their project work.

European Career Service Networks

JOINUS - the European Talent Network

• Partnership with Audencia Nantes School of Management and HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management
• Creates a pan-Europe network in conjunction with Career Services teams of all 3 schools
• Joint career placement advice and opportunities

Carnet - the Business Schools Careers Network

• A careers network with 10 major European B-schools
• All the careers services teams work together
• Wide networking opportunities
• Common portal for employers seeking MBAs

Corporate Services and Activities

• Presentations
• Guest speakers
• Managerial seminars on campus
• CV Book

Personal Development

• Lectures
• Workshops
• Individual interviews and personal feedback
• CV writing
• Job search strategies
• Language Courses in Italian or English
• Outdoor/Off-campus team-building activities to foster soft skills

MIB - Career Service


• Identify the goal - helps students identify their career aspirations
• Pursue it - develops skills to achieve career goals

Personal Development

• Motivational meets
• Career plans
• CV preparation
• Interview coaching
• Communication & public speaking skills
• Self-Confidence classes
• Negotiation
• Personal Branding & Social Media module

Contacts with Companies

• Company presentations
• Corporate visits
• Class presentations by business leaders, managers and consultants
• Business & study tours
• Events
• CV submissions
• On-campus Recruiting days
• Individual job interviews
• Candidate introduction to HR offices

Internship or Project

• In-company experience
• Gets contacts in desired companies, sectors & functions
• Allows companies to assess students for permanent jobs

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