Where Harvard MBAs Work & What They Do

by John A. Byrne on Print Print

Where do Harvard MBAs work and in what industries?

With its wealth of membership data, LinkedIn is now providing a glimpse into this answer. Of course, not all Harvard MBAs are registered with the professional networking site so it’s an obviously incomplete list. Even so, the data provides an interesting window into the most likely employers of Harvard MBAs as well as the most likely industries that attract its graduates.

Source: LinkedIn membership data

Not surprisingly, the number one employer of Harvard MBAs is McKinsey & Co, which according to LinkedIn data, has 507 consultants who are LinkedIn members with MBAs from the school. In fact, the top three firms are all consulting firms. McKinsey is followed by Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co.

How does this compare with some of the other elite schools? Wharton, of course, has far greater representation among financial firms. Five of the top eight employers of Wharton MBAs, for example, are investment banking firms: No. 2 Goldman Sachs, No. 4 Citicorp, No. 5 Morgan Stanley, No. 7 Merrill Lynch, and No. 8 J.P. Morgan. According to LinkedIn, Merrill Lynch has four times as many Wharton MBAs to Harvard, 237 versus 62, as of December, 2012.

What does seem surprising, however, is that the biggest brand company with the most Harvard MBAs is IBM, with 254 LinkedIn members.

The number one industry for Harvard MBAs is finance, with 4,222 members. But number two is also a surprise of sorts: entrepreneurship. Some 2,959 LinkedIn members say they have an MBA from Harvard and have identified themselves as entrepreneurs. Business development is third with 2,687 LinkedIn members.

Harvard MBAs: Where They Work & What They Do


Company LinkedIn Members Industry LinkedIn Members
McKinsey & Co. 507 Finance 4,222
Boston Consulting Group 310 Entrepreneur 2,959
Bain & Co. 262 Consulting 2,345
IBM 254 Marketing 1,950
Deloitte 198 Operations 1,809
Goldman Sachs 186 Sales 1,541
Google 174 Administrative 1,494
Microsoft 173 Information Technology 930
Cisco Systems 114 Product 772
Morgan Stanley 102 Human Resources 671
Citicorp 94 Engineering 602
Hewlett-Packard 85 Creative 565
Novartis 81 Public Relations 510
Credit Suisse 74 Support 335
Accenture 72 Legal 269
Ernst & Young 72 Medical 252
Oracle 71 Accounting 251
Bain Capital 69 Buyer 131
PriceWaterhouseCoopers 63 Real Estate 95
Merrill Lynch 62
Booz & Co. 61
Amazon 60
Johnson & Johnson 55

Source: December 2012 LinkedIn membership data

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  • RV

    Interesting point..

  • prusd

    So does the capital go towards paying off their loans? Or does the VC capital go towards the business idea? Or both? I really don’t know. If VC’s will give capital to start a business and pay down MBA loans at the same time, that sounds great. That makes b-school much much more amenable for someone like me.

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