USC IBear vs. USC Marshall

I think if your primary objective is to find a job in the US, the two-year program is a better program for that purpose. However, I do realize that Marshall is a much more difficult program to get into.

Because the IBEAR program is almost entirely international and is small (~60 the last time I checked), I don't think the profile fits US recruiters.

I do believe IBEAR program is good if you are sure you want to have a career in Asia, especially if you have a family business to return to or are interested in leveraging USC's network in Asia, which is impressive. I don't know if you have had a chance to attend USC events in Taiwan, but the few gatherings I have attended, I was impressed by the strength (by this I mean the prominence) of their alumni and how organized they are. I believe USC is one of the few schools that has a full-time alumni office in Taipei.

An alternative to the IBEAR program if your #1 objective is to find a job in the US is to apply to the full-time MBA program at UC Irvine and UC San Diego. I believe they are at about the same level of difficulty in terms of admission. Low to mid 600 GMAT would give you a good shot at admission for these programs.

For those with lower GMATs, high 500's to low 600's, Claremont and Pepperdine are also options in the Southern California area.

Q. US NEWS上 Marshall的就業率挺低的,只有81%, 可否能解釋一下,是不是因為加州華人太多,同質性太高競爭反而激烈了?

posted Apr 20, 2009, 1:18 AM by Weiyang Tsai   [ updated Apr 20, 2009, 1:20 AM ]

A. I think it has more to do with California and its laid-back culture.

I think the perception that California is an Asian state is quite off base. California is a state with roughly 34 million people, but only ~13% are Asian. This is higher than the US average, but the perception that Asians are everywhere in the state is not true.

I think a few reasons may explain why job numbers are down for USC and perhaps all California biz schools is due to the economic organization of the state.

1) traditional recruiters of MBAs (banks & other financial institutions) have a limited presence in California.

2) The greater LA economy is highly entrepreneurial and is characterized by many small to medium sized businesses, meaning they do not have a need or have the money to hire top MBAs.

3) Many large companies in California are tech companies, meaning positions for MBAs are limited since tech companies are still largely driven by technologists.

4) The few tech companies that do actively hire MBAs in California, such as Google, eBay, Yahoo, etc. have few openings. Even though these are valuable companies, employee-wise they are still fairly small. Also, the openings available at these companies are highly competitive and attract the best MBA graduates from America.

5) The laid back culture in California encourages individuality. So relative to the schools on the US East Coast, California schools are less competitive and there isn't this pressure to be as driven.

6) California also has a more entrepreneurial culture. So if a graduate doesn't find exactly what he wants, he may opt to start something on his own.

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