Lifeline amid massive layoffs: Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management makes offer for former tech workers

Lifeline amid massive layoffs: Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management makes offer for former tech workers
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — There’s a lifeline among this month’s large-scale tech layoffs. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management announced on Monday that those recently affected now have the option of applying to one of the school’s full-time MBA programs without having to submit a standardized test score.

“Which is a great opportunity,” Ahmed Banafa, a San Jose State University professor and technology expert, 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 do you have it on your resume?”

Banafa understands the weight that the North West name alone carries and the network that accompanies it. And at a time when tens of thousands of tech workers are losing their jobs, he said it was a great option.

The New York Times reports that Amazon is next. Around 10,000 employees there face potential job cuts.

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

Banafa explained that this wave of layoffs is cyclical and that he thinks it will last until the end of the year.

“We saw this one in 2000, we saw this one in 2008 and we also saw something like this with the ‘Great Resignation’ – which is basically 2020, 2021,” he continued.

“It’s not like in the 60s and 70s, where you’re in a company and you stay there for life,” Banafa said. “If you’re IBM, you’re IBM. If you’re HP, you’re HP for the rest of your life. Gen-Z and Millennials – young people – the average time for them to stay in any job is 2 .5 years, and they’re thinking about the next job, and they’re thinking about the next job.”

“In the event of a mass layoff or economic disruption, the higher education sector is really there to help people get to the next level,” said Dylan Houle, executive director of the Career Center at the University of Santa Clara.

VIDEO: More Tech Layoffs: Are These More Signs of a Possible Recession?

Based in Silicon Valley, Houle has a front-row seat to scale-down at some of the world’s largest tech companies. Over the past month, there have been significant job cuts at Twitter, Meta, Lyft, Stripe and others.

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

“We are in one of the most exciting places 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.”

While 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 you’re looking, let them know you’ve been through a change and are exploring new opportunities.”

MORE: Bay Area tech giants announce mass same-day layoffs in what experts call ‘unusual’

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

“So those affected by these layoffs, contact your alma mater, see how your Career Center can help you,” he said.

“For them,” Banafa referred to recently laid-off workers who might explore an MBA, “It’s a guarantee that the next job will be better. Because now you have management training on top of your technical skills.”

Meanwhile, top business schools are bidding for tech talent.

“One industry’s pain is another industry’s gain,” Banafa said. “And that’s what we see here.”

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