Q) I want to enter Technology post-MBA. Which program in the US is best to enter the industry?How good is NYU Stern’s Tech MBA?
NYU Stern’s Tech MBA is part of the two one-year MBA programs that the team announced in 2017. Until the first batch of Tech MBA finds opportunities, the verdict on the program’s effectiveness is still out.
One way to look beyond the employment report is to analyze three influencers: New York as a post-MBA location for Technology, the curriculum’s effectiveness, and NYU Stern Full-time MBA’s history in Technology recruitment.
New York as a Post-MBA Location for Technology
The cliché that you should be close to the opportunity is a cliché because there is truth to the statement. Now with new means to raise capital (cryptocurrency and ICO), Entrepreneurs entering technology can work from anywhere but Silicon Valley’s thriving technology eco-system and the fact that from the top 10 Technology Companies in the world, 7 are from California, the influence becomes apparent.
Many Venture Capitalists mocked Silicon Alley as a cheap imitation of Silicon Valley. But the latest Census of Employment and Wages in New York shows that the vast majority of employments (86%) are in the Silicon Alley cluster (the region between the lower and Midtown Manhattan skylines), Lower, Midtown, and Southern Manhattan. Spotify, Etsy, and Uber (although founded in Silicon Valley found mass market in NYC) are some of the local firms that are recognized worldwide, but New York City (NYC) boasts of 7576 start-ups attracting over 200 investors, with the tech industry contributing $5.6 Billion in taxes at 12.3% of NYC's total annual revenue.
What is more exciting for aspiring MBAs is that from the 141,000 jobs in New York’s Tech Industry, the majority (83,000) are in non-tech roles, specifically in Sales, Marketing, and Administrative functions.
Google’s New York office in Chelsea hosts a vibrant Sales & Marketing team that works with local advertising companies in retail, healthcare, technology, finance, FMCG, and travel, mostly in projects related to Google AdWords.
Why doesn’t New York City have the same buzz in Technology Entrepreneurship?
The challenges facing New York City is that the city has not seen many $1B exits after Yahoo! acquired Tumblr in 2013 for $1.1B. Despite the acquisition, Tumblr could only hit a revenue of $100 million in 2015, after users grew from 260 million to 400 million. The failure might be partly from poor integration and sales team at Yahoo, but New York start-up eco-system has yet to find the recall that Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs get in Technology.
Foursquare pivoted three times from Social App to Data Company to Location Intelligence Company without creating any dent in Mobile apps. Fab.com’s story is one of a disaster, burning over $200 million in a year from the $300+ million total raised.
Naturally, investors and bankers have become skeptical of the start-ups emerging from New York.
2017 – Comeback for New York
2017 has been encouraging for Tech Entrepreneurship in New York. MongoDB’s $1.2B IPO is one of the largest in New York after the much-hyped Tumblr exit. The exit was not the first in 2017. Blue Apron, the grocery delivery service had a $1.8B IPO in June, totaling the top 5 venture-backed exits to $7B.
The most promising IPO is speculated to be from Spotify in the first half of 2018 with valuation set as high as $19B., On total exit value of VC backed companies since 2010, New York is 3rd in the US, behind San Francisco, and San Jose at $17.6 B.
NYU Stern Tech MBA Curriculum’s Effectiveness
The Tech MBA team has an interesting schedule. The Business Core and Tech cores are conducted in tandem, giving students a fast learning route required to switch into Product Management, FinTech, Tech Entrepreneurship or take up a role as a Business Analyst.
The team is deeply aware of Silicon Valley’s role in giving the most valuable learning experience. The Experiential learning component of the MBA – Stern Solutions, starts with the indoctrination of the technology grammar, followed by real work with technology companies in Product Development. The most valuable part of the experience is the two-week immersion in Silicon Valley, where students network and work on a highly visible project for one of the technology giants.
NYU Stern MBA – Technology Recruitment Trends
Apart from the advisory board at Tech MBA that has some trailblazers - Michelle Peluso (CMO, IBM), David Tisch (Founder, Box Group) and David Ko (COO, Rally Health), the career service team play a vital role in connecting with the right recruiters. The top Employers recruiting in Technology for the 2-year Full-time MBA are indications of the recruitment pattern you are likely to see in Tech MBA. Close to 11% of the latest full-time MBA class chose the Technology industry behind Financial Services, Consulting and Consumer Packaged Goods.
On that regard, Amazon, Google and IBM are mainstays at NYU Stern, and likely to show their interest in Tech MBA candidates.
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