Top MBA Industries - UK (2018)

While writing the book: MBA in the UK, we found out an interesting trend – industries that were promising in the UK doesn’t always translate to interest for MBA candidates. Peer pressure and the lure of compensation from the Consulting and Technology sectors are bigger influencers than the promise of a rising industry or an industry that is undergoing metamorphosis.

The only exception was in FinTech.

Download F1GMAT’s MBA in the UK and read our analysis of Finance, Management Consulting (MC), Technology, Healthcare, Energy, Automobile, Aerospace, Retail/Luxury and Manufacturing industries.


Traditional roles in Finance – investment banking and investment management has been on a decline after a resurrection in 2013. This has partly to do with the loss of trust among consumers with traditional banks following the disastrous 2008-09 period, but more to do with the changing demographics of the workforce. Millennials value meaningful work over long monotonous work that traditional banks demand.

The big banks were comfortably maximizing their monopolistic position without any innovation in their services (the last major innovation was in Credit Card payments and RTGS payment settlements – six and two decades ago respectively).

FinTech companies emerged from the market complacency and replaced the core settlement services and provided an alternative store of value in the form of digital wallets and cryptocurrency. They lured fresh MBAs with one of the highest mean base salary (£84,472 mean base salary). Suddenly, MBA candidates realized that they could fulfill the intellectual challenge of the technological roadblocks, the regulatory changes and the marketing message that are essential for converting a niche sub-sector to a mass industry without compromising their work-life balance.

Read the latest FinTech trends in Top MBA Programs (UK)


UK-based AI companies have a history of big exits. Notable among them was Deep Mind, that was acquired in 2014 by Google for $500m. Most recently, Magic Pony and SwiftKey were acquired by Twitter and Microsoft for $150m and $250m respectively.
Despite big exits, from 2010-2016, United States attracted total investments of $4833m whereas the United Kingdom was at third behind China ($401m) with $294m. Although VC funding is not the only criteria to measure the progress of AI in the UK, the recent brain drain from Universities (Cambridge, Sheffield, and Imperial) to US private enterprises (Uber, Amazon, and Google) is an indication of US Tech firm’s ambitions.

Despite the challenges, UK’s strength as the #1 country for technological readiness, the mean base salary of $120,000 in top MBA programs, and the potential of AI and FinTech, have led to a massive brain drain from the dying industries to Technology (20% of the MBA class chose the Technology industry).

Read the latest Technology trends in Top MBA Programs (UK)


Following the Brexit Referendum in 2016 June, 8.1 billion and 2 billion worth of Equity and Property funds were withdrawn from the UK, bringing in a new challenge to Asset Managers. The MiFID II, the European policy on fee disclosure mandates that cost and charges should be tabulated as a single total charge.

FCA's (UK's financial regulatory body) scathing observation on the Asset Management industry, particularly on the lack of enthusiasm among Fund Managers to negotiate the cost for retail funds in addition to the study that fees and performance has a limited correlation, adds to the mistrust towards Asset Management Companies.

Unlike developing countries, UK’s Asset Management industry is responsible for over £1 trillion of UK’s retail investments and £3 trillion in pension funds, taking the total assets managed to over £7 trillion. Under such high exposure for UK citizens, the influence of regulatory body on the future performance is profound. For EU investors, who account for over half of the £2.6 trillion overseas funds managed by UK fund managers, the fine prints of Brexit would have a direct impact.

Read the complete analysis of UK’s Finance industry and its impact on Post-MBA offers in our book: MBA in the UK

Management Consulting

Management Consulting in the UK has an interesting mix of services with Technology taking the largest chunk of the service - 28%, followed by Finance (15%) and Operations (13%) at third. Strategy - the favorite for MBA candidates, is fourth, tied at 10% with change management.

As of 2018, the skills demanded of consultants entering the UK market favors data scientists, process specialists, and technologist who understands banking technology architectures. MBAs with experience in designing user experience similar to contactless and mobile payment apps are two niches that received the most offers.

Finance and Risks have evolved from complying with regulatory guidelines to cybersecurity as more customers prefer payment through mobile, introducing a wide set of scenarios that would breach their privacy and jeopardize secure payment.

Read our analysis of the Management Consulting industry in the UK. Also, find out the compensation the industry has to offer for

Top MBA Industries in the UK (2018)

Post-MBA IndustryAverage Base Salary (Top MBA)Industry TrendMBA Trend
Finance$116,537 PositiveNeutral
Management Consulting (MC)$123392PositivePositive
Technology$113,300 PositivePositive
FinTech$114,336 PositivePositive
Healthcare$111,127 PositiveNegative
Retail/Luxury$125,339 NegativeNegative

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter