Michigan’s Ross vs. Northwestern’s Kellogg


The poets are greatly outnumbered at both these schools. Other rivals have managed to get a better balance which is surprising given the softer, general management reputation that these two schools have in the marketplace. With only 18% of its students with humanities undergraduate degrees, Kellogg has among the least number of poets of all the major business schools. That’s a bit shocking due to the reputation that Kellogg MBAs have for having high interpersonnel skills. Obviously, the fact that Kellogg interviews all its applicants pays off. Ross is just a sliver of a percentage point higher.


Undergrad Degrees Kellogg Ross
Humanities 18% 19%
Engineering/Math 35% 42%
Business/Economics 46% 31%


Jobs and Pay:

The severe recession of 2009 wrecked a bit of havoc in Ann Arbor and Evanston. Northwestern and Chicago hard as it did all the best business schools. More than a third of the graduates lacked jobs at graduation at Ross, while things weren’t much better at Kellogg with 32% of the grads unemployed at commencement. Kellogg grads recovered more quickly than those from Ross, by a full nine percentage points three months after graduation. In both the short-term and the long-term, Kellogg MBAs tend to do better than those from Ross–but the real difference shows up over a lifetime career. The gap between a Kellogg and Ross grad is more than half a million dollars! The estimates of median pay over both 20 years and a full career come from a study by PayScale done for BusinessWeek and do not include stock options or equity stakes by entrepreneurs.

Job & Pay Data Kellogg Ross
Starting salary & bonus $127,834 $125,995
MBAs employed at commencement 68.1% 65.8%
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement 79.5% 71.5%
Estimated median pay & bonus in 20th year $190,000 $141,000
Estimated median pay & bonus over a full career $3,085,680 $2,537,508


Who Hires Who:

Michigan’s Ross School has done an exceptional job of getting a wide range of corporate recruiters to come to Ann Arbor to recruit its students. You might think that because Detroit is ailing, the Ross School would be on the ropes as well. Even though General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler recruited a combined three MBAs in 2009, a surprisingly broad group of companies more than offset the gap. Surprisingly, technology companies seem to love Ross MBAS: Amazon and Microsoft hired 10 each in 2009, Dell brought abroad 9 MBAs from the school, Cisco Systems hired a half dozen grads, and biotech leader Genentech took four MBAs. Those stats show that a Michigan MBA can open the doors to a prestige job in technology–not something that many schools in the midwest can claim. On the other hand, Kellogg predictably does a bit better with the highest paying and most prestigious traditional MBA employers. McKinsey scooped up 26 grads from Kellogg vs. 10 at Ross, Boston Consulting Group carried away 23 Kellogg MBAs vs. five from Ross, and Monitor Group took five from Kellogg and not a soul from Michigan. NA does not necessarily mean that a company didn’t hire any graduates from Kellogg, but rather that the number of grads it did hire was fewer than four.

Hiring Company Number of Hires

at Ross

Number of Hires

at Kellogg

McKinsey & Co. 10 26
Bain & Co. 10 13
Credit Suisse 3 5
Citigroup 3 NA
Deutsche Bank 4 NA
Barclays 0 4
Johnson & Johnson 3 10
JP Morgan Chase 8 NA
Boston Consulting Group 5 23
Deloitte Consulting 13 11
General Mills 5 6
Accenture 5 NA
Monitor Group 0 6
Booz & Co. 6 9
A.T. Kearney 8 5
PepsiCo 3 5
Chevron Corp. 0 4
Kraft Foods Global 5 4
Samsung Group 0 4
Amazon 10 NA
Microsoft 10 NA
Dell 8 NA
Boeing 7 NA
Genentech 4 NA
Pricewaterhouse 3 NA