Top-tier business school bids for former tech workers amid mass layoffs

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Top-tier business school bids for laid off tech workers
Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management says it will waive testing requirements for those who apply for a MBA program amid mass tech layoffs.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There is a lifeline amid this month's largescale tech layoffs. Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management announced Monday, those recently impacted are now being given the opportunity to apply to one of the school's full-time MBA programs without having to submit a standardized test score.

"Which is a great opportunity," San Jose State University professor and tech expert, Ahmed Banafa told ABC7 News. "I'm not giving them a promotion here, but can you imagine this one on LinkedIn - that you graduated from this school? Or you have it on your resume?"

Banafa understands the weight the Northwestern name alone carries, and the network that comes along with it. And at a time when tens of thousands of tech workers are losing their jobs, he said it's a great option.

The New York Times is reporting Amazon is next. Approximately 10,000 employees there are facing potential job cuts.

MORE: Amazon plans to lay off thousands of workers: report

Banafa explained this wave of layoffs is cyclical though, and it's one he believes will last through the end of the year.

"We've seen this one in 2000, we've seen this one in 2008 and also we've seen something like this with the 'Great Resignation' - which is basically in 2020, 2021," he continued.

"It's not like back in the 60s and 70s, where you're with a company and you stay there for life," Banafa said. "If you're IBM, you're IBM. If you're HP, you're HP the rest of your life. Gen-Z and Millenials - the young people - the average time for them to stay in any job is 2.5 years, and they think about the next job, and they think about the next job."

"When a mass layoff happens, or economic disruption happens, the higher education industry is really here to support people in advancing to their next stage," Dylan Houle, executive director of Santa Clara University's Career Center said.

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Located in Silicon Valley, Houle has a front row seat to downscaling at some of the world's biggest tech companies. In the last month, there has been major job cuts at Twitter, Meta, Lyft, Stripe and others.

However, Houle says location alone leaves room for great opportunity.

"We're in one of the most exciting regions in the world," Houle told ABC7 News. "Not just for the types of jobs that are available here, the types of opportunities that are available here, but the types of mentors that are available here. The network that exists here."

Even if exploring an MBA program isn't in the future for some, Houle encouraged, "Share with your network what your goals are, socialize, and circulate your resume. Let them know that you're seeking, let them know that you've experienced a change, and that you're exploring new opportunities."

MORE: Bay Area tech giants announce massive layoffs on same day in what experts are calling 'unusual'

He said the Santa Clara University Career Center, like many career centers around the country, offers lifetime access to alumni.

"So, people that are being impacted by these layoffs, contact your alma mater, see how your Career Center can help you," he said.

"For them," Banafa referenced recently laid-off workers who might explore an MBA, "It's a guarantee that the next job will be better. Because now you have the background in management besides your technical skills."

Meantime, top tier business schools are making a bid for tech talent.

"One industry's pain is another industry's gain," Banafa said. "And that's what we are seeing here."

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