China Post MBA Job Trends: Finance Number #1 & Electronics, Pharma and FMCG Fastest Growing

Post MBA ChinaChina's economy has been on an unsurpassed upward path, growing by 10% over the last decade. From $3.4 trillion in 2007, it has more than tripled in 4 years, generating $11.4 trillion in 2011. According to some estimates, Chinese Economy is on its way to overtake USA’s Economy by 2015. China is the world’s #1 exporter, tallying $1.9 trillion in 2011. Agriculture accounts for nearly 10% of the GDP while the Manufacturing industry makes up for the Lion’s share at 47%. The significant factor here is that the services sector contributes just 43% of the GDP, which is nearly half of USA's 80%.

When it comes to post-MBA jobs, it is important to note two significant shifts in the Chinese economy, both inter-related. The manufacturing sector was once like a vast duplicating machine, with designs from outside the country replicated into a product in no time, at unmatched costs. Today though, it seeks to add innovation to its strengths that enables designing, and creating world-class products. The other change is that the economy, which was once built on exports, is now slowly driven by rising internal consumption. Standards of living are rising, and the Chinese middle-class is growing at a rapid rate. In two decades, around two thirds of the world's middle class will be from China.


The Financial services sector is both highly evolved, and rapidly growing. China is already the world's largest creditor, possessing 21% of all US Treasury securities outside USA. It also has the world's largest foreign exchange reserves. Until the recent past, the financial system in China was highly regulated and dominated by four state-owned banks - People's Bank of China, China Development Bank, Agricultural Development Bank of China and China Import and Export Bank. China's financial institutions have over the past two decades approved foreign and joint venture financial in the Special Economic Zones and some major cities. The number of cities where such banks can do business has increased, and soon they will be able to operate in any Chinese city.

Financial institutions in China have huge potential in providing financial services for households and small businesses as they are out of reach with the current financial system. Insurance is also an area of huge potential, particularly the Non-life sector. The insurance sector's assets under management were just 11% of the domestic personal bank deposits in 2009, despite ranking 6th largest in the world. According to Robert Shiller, Economics Professor at Yale, China urgently needs more financial advisers. In fact, the Chinese Premier has said that the state-owned banks' monopoly must be broken, and investment as well as competition in the financial sector must be increased.

The high potential of this sector is reflected in the employment data at all the top B-Schools in China. At HKUST, Finance sector was the biggest recruiter, hiring 43% of the class. At CEIBS, Finance took 26.4% of the class and was the top recruiting sector. The median salary was $62,400. Peking University's BiMBA program saw 30% opting for the financial sector while at CUHK it was 36%.

Manufacturing/Industrial Products

China contributed 19.8% of the global manufacturing output in 2010 to become the world's top manufacturer. It is the world's #1 choice for location of manufacturers, offering unmatched speed, scale and savings. As wages increase and the cost advantage decreases, Chinese companies are turning to innovation to retain their advantage, opening up possibilities for MBA graduates. From 2013, a social risk assessment is mandatory for all big industrial projects.

China is the world's largest producer of steel and automobiles, and is the world's largest consumer of PCs. The major areas in this sector include Machinery Manufacturing, Energy, Automobiles, and Steel. GM is the market leader in China, selling 2.6 million vehicles in 2011. By 2020, 40 million cars are expected to be sold in China, up from 18.1 million cars in 2010. This is expected to account for half of all the cars sold across the world in 2020. What's more, China plans to build 45,000 km of high-speed railway, 83,000 km of highways and 36 million low-cost apartments by 2015. Electronics, Pharma and Food sectors are rapidly growing, and are expected to be major sectors in the future.

Companies from the manufacturing sector were the second most prolific hirer at the top 2 B-Schools in China. HKUST saw 15% hiring while CEIBS saw 21.4% with a median salary of $64,400. At Peking University, the sector was the 3rd most popular with 9%, and at CUHK it was just 5%.


Management consulting was unknown to China until the mid-1990s when the world's top consulting firms followed their customers to China. The industry has since been growing rapidly, with the birth of domestic consulting companies, and the massive inflows of foreign capital. In 2012, revenues totaled nearly $14.7 billion, growing at 10.1% since 2007.  Although the market penetration is very low, the Consulting Industry enjoys high profit margin in China. As a result, the sector is expecting major growth in China's mid-sized cities. The major areas of operation are enterprise Management Consulting, Business and Management Consulting, Planning and Designing, PR Consulting and Social & Economic Consulting.

At HKUST, 15% of the class was hired by the Consulting sector, where it was the second most popular choice. At CEIBS, it was the 4th most popular sector with a class share of 8.8% and high median salary of $81,600. At CUHK, it was the 2nd most popular sector with 13% while Peking University saw hiring of just 6%.

IT/ Telecom

Three state-owned companies dominate China’s telecom sector. The earnings of this sector in 2011 were at $157 billion with a 10% growth. The total phone users were 1.27 billion, with 128 million using 3G. Internet penetration stands at 385, or 513 million people.  But the news of even more significance is that private investors can now invest in this industry, including broadband services, mobile communications resale, basic operating services, and value-added telecom services. Do note that by 2016, half the Chinese market is expected dominated by 3G. The IT industry is still growing, but has managed revenues of $60 billion in 2011.

The IT/Telecom sector at HKUST hired 11% of the class. At CEIBS, the sector was 3rd in hiring with representation of 15.7%, and offering a median salary of $67,200. The sector was also the 2nd highest recruiter at Peking University with 21%, whereas at CUHK it was just 5%.

Career Services at the top 5 B-schools in China

HKUST Career Development Office


• Understanding personal values, strengths, weaknesses and interests
• Self-assessment tools
• Determine optimum career path
• Identify goals

Career Counseling and Coaching

• Individual sessions
• Clarify goals

Develop customized search strategies

• Skills Development
• Workshops
• Training resources
• CV writing
• Interview skills
• Business etiquette
• Networking
• Mock interviews

Company Presentations and Talks

• Companies are regularly invited
• Presentations on business as well as recruiting practices
• Learn more about different industries
• Learn more about particular company cultures

Networking Events

• Individual contacts
• Right place at the right time
• Off-campus networking events
• Meet professionals from a range of industries
• Alumni Development Team organizes informal social functions with alumni

Summer Internships

• Valuable work experience
• Explore a new industry or career
• Employer and student can evaluate each other.

Resume Book

• Features all current students
• Sent to the large corporate recruiter database

Career Intranet

• Latest events
• Training opportunities
• Job openings
• Useful references
• Privileged access to job sites like Global Workplace and MBA-Exchange.com

Career Library

• Exclusive for MBA students
• Reference Materials
• Business Periodicals
• Company Directories
• Online Career Reference Library

CEIBS Career Development Center

Self-assessment Test

• World leading Self-Assessment Tool
• Helps Explore and Identify career interests

Career Counseling

• On individual basis
• Personalized advice
• Identify strengths and weaknesses
• Develop career strategy and planning
• Improve job-searching skills
• Resume composition
• Interviews


• Knowledge-based workshops to understand different industries and functions
• Skill-based workshops to improve resume writing and job searching

Mock Interviews and Role Plays

• Mock interviews and role plays
• Provides opportunities to hone interview skills

On-Campus Presentations

• Presence of a large number of companies
• Provides students opportunities to learn about prospective employers

Recruitment Fairs

• Recruitment fairs outside Shanghai for students seeking work elsewhere

Intranet Job Postings

• To help students manage job opportunities
• Job postings can be searched by industry, function, and location

Practicum Projects

• Abundant practicum opportunities
• Helps students gain valuable field experiences
• Could generate job opportunities

Peking University - CDD

Career Development Programs

• Executive/Alumni Mentor Program
• Resume Reviews
• Networking Workshops
• Industry Insight Sharing
• Mock Interviews

Employer Information Session

• 50+ employer information sessions and corporate executive speeches
• Allow students to learn about the culture and opportunities in Companies and Industries
• Closer communication with Senior Managers and Recent Recruits

Resume Book

• Produce and update student resume books twice a year

Job Board

• Free online job posting board
• More than 600 internship/Full-Time job opportunities have been posted on BiMBA career intranet over the last 2 years

One-on-one career advising

• Individual career advice
• Advisors and coaches available
• Assessment of your skills and interests
• Guidance in potential Career Direction
• Job Search Strategies
• How to handle specific Employer interactions

Knowledge Resources

• Extensive online career bookshelf
• Education and guidance on each stage
• Knowledge source for students’ career development

CUHK - Career Management Center

Individual Counseling

• Understand and assess skills, interests and aspirations
• Team of active specialized personnel Career Counselors
• Self-Assessment
• Use of Psychometric Testing

Skills Training

• Soft skills
• Skills training workshops and activities
• Job Search Series
• Executive Development Series
• Learning by Seeing Series
• Life Enrichment Series

On-going Experience Sharing & Networking

• Encourage students to excel beyond classrooms
• Learn from successful alumni
• Elite Mentorship Program
• When Leader Meets Leader
• On Campus & Offsite Recruitment
• Networking with Professionals


• Career exploration and job searching
• e-Resources
• Resume Book Publications
• MBA Career Library
• Premium Town Center

HKU - Career Development Office


• Personal meeting with CDO Director
• Self-assessment exercises

Resources and preparation

• Explore opportunities
• Creating Well-crafted resume
• Latest job listings
• Workshops on interview skills

Act and Drilling

• Mock interviews with leading practitioners in industry
• Coaching and debriefing sessions
• New career opportunities

Career Tracks

• Trips to Beijing
• Trips to Shanghai
• Trips to Singapore

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