11% of MBA graduates prefer the public sector or a NPO

More Canadians holding an MBA than graduates from other countries choose a job in the public sector or within a non-profit organization (NPO). This is a conclusion arising from the worldwide study conducted by Catalyst.



The report, titled High-Potential Employees in the Pipeline: Maximizing the Talent Pool in Canadian Organizations, sponsored by the Catalyst NPO, was conducted among 1,574 high-potential employees in Canada. One of the first findings highlighted by the study is that in a first post-MBA job, six times more Canadian graduates than their foreign counterparts prefer an opportunity in a field other than business, at 11%, compared to 4% in the United States, 3% in Europe and 5% in Asia. Twice as many women than their male colleagues are likely to choose the public sector or an NPO for their first job, at 19% compared to 8%. Although 19% of MBA holders will have worked for another sectorthan business during their career, the proportion remains higher for women, at 30% compared to 14% for men.


Businesses less attractive


Job security and the many advantages of working in the public service are assets that may explain this attractiveness to talented workers. As a result, businesses face strong competition from other sectors when it comes to attracting talented young people. However, not only do they have difficulty recruiting high-potential graduates but they also have a struggle to keep them. One of the reasons outlined by the study is the fact that organizations don’t exploit the full potential of their employees when allocating their international assignments. Only 27% of talented Canadians are given international assignments, compared to 39% in Europe and 45% on the Asian continent. In addition, there remains a disparity between the sexes, since only 19% of women have had the opportunity to have international experience compared to 29% of men. 23% of women also say they don’t have a knowledge of the markets for international products compared to 9% of men, and 21% say they don’t know the international labour markets compared again to 9% of their male colleagues.


Canadians less competent internationally


This may confirm that skills in international affairs are less developed among talented persons in Canada than they are in Europe and Asia. Indeed, Canadians are rated at 3.18 out of 5 in the study, compared to 3.72 and 3.78 points for Europeans and Asians in terms of international skills. This is a real weakness in an increasingly global context, which is urgent to be corrected, according to the study’s conclusions.


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