MBAnalysis Blog: The Cat’s Out of the Bag…in Pittsburgh?

Uber is testing self-driving cars there; Google has more than 500 employees there; Apple and Facebook have already come, while Amazon just landed.

And, by the way, the food may just be the best in the country. And, there is art everywhere.

San Francisco? Boston? NYC? No, no and no. It is …Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, as in Pennsylvania? As in steel mills? As in pollution? As in a football team that always loses to the Patriots? (Sorry folks, I live in Boston).

Yes, that Pittsburgh!

In a recent New York Times article, the benefits of Pittsburgh as a tech center and entrepreneurial hub have been exposed. And I’m not sure I am happy about that. After all, for us admissions counselors, our go to school for entrepreneurship and tech careers has been Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business for a long time.

(Only want to take a half-step to business school? Look at Carnegie Mellon’s Master of Science in Product Management.)

As the city has blown up as a place where you can build a long term career, another business school has started rising in the rankings – The Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. What also makes Katz special is that it has one of the first one-year MBA programs among the top-fifty schools.

So what does that mean for would-be entrepreneurs? Destination Pittsburgh may be the right choice, particularly if you’re interested in personal artificial intelligence (think Alexa from Amazon, which is being developed in Pittsburgh), robotics and anything to do with the new new.

“It’s like being in Hogwarts. It’s really cool and exciting to have these glimpses of the future, and to see all these people running around and having these crazy ideas,” said Andrew W. Moore, the dean of the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science to the New York Times.

And, of course, what do all of these companies need? People who can actually manage this army of geeks; an army that may know the tech but not the biz. For better or worse, computer science classes generally don’t cover things like leadership, finance, marketing or organizational behavior. So MBAs coming from great business schools like Tepper and Katz are in high demand.

The list of recruiters coming to Tepper is overwhelming. For consultants there is Bain, BCG, McKinsey and another dozen or so name brand consulting firms. Tech folks will find Amazon, Apple, Google, among others In fact, the CFO of Amazon, Brian Olsavsky, is a Tepper alum. Marketers will see Coke, Campbell’s Soup, Disney, Heinz, Nestle and other big brands floating around. And even more recruiters focused on finance, operations and general management are picking up talented MBAs in Pittsburgh making fall recruiting season very busy indeed.

So, if you are ready to live the tech dream in a city where you can affordably live, and get a job at one of these great companies, think Pittsburgh. But don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep it a secret.