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Post‐MBA industry shifts: An investigation of career, educational and demographic factors

Alvin Hwang (Pace University, New York, New York, USA)
Regina Bento (Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
J.B. (Ben) Arbaugh (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




The purpose of this study is to examine factors that predict industry‐level career change among MBA graduates.


The study analyzed longitudinal data from the Management Education Research Institute (MERI)'s Global MBA Graduate Survey Dataset and MBA Alumni Perspectives Survey Datasets, using principal component analyses and a three‐stage structural equations model.


Perceptions about career growth and opportunity for advancement were the strongest predictors of industry shifts. The type of program was also found to have an influence, with part‐time MBA programs positively predicting industry shift, and full‐time programs having an indirect effect through significant associations with each of the intermediate predictors of industry shifts. Women were found to be more likely to change industries. Satisfaction with the MBA degree was not a predictor of industry change behavior: they were found to be related only to the extent that graduates valued the importance of certain career factors, such as the objective career factor of career growth.


This is a first large scale study of industry‐level career change among MBA graduates.



Hwang, A., Bento, R. and Arbaugh, J.B.(B). (2011), "Post‐MBA industry shifts: An investigation of career, educational and demographic factors", Career Development International, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 592-615.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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