Highest & Lowest Paid MBAs of 2013

by John A. Byrne on Print Print


Of course, looking at the extreme highs in pay can easily create unrealistic expectations. So it’s equally important to have a look at the other extreme: how little an MBA from a top school can make. More often than not, the lowest reported starting salaries are accepted by graduates who venture into the non-profit or social sector–or who take jobs with massive potential payouts at year-end. The year’s lowest reported salary: Just $15,000 for a University of Michigan MBA who went into “services.”

Yet, at several top schools there were plenty of grads who reported accepting jobs that paid $50,000 a year or less–far below  the average pre-MBA pay of their classmates.  A Fuqua MBA who went the social enterprise route accepted a $24,000-a-year job. An MBA in the Class of 2013 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School reported receiving a $15,000-a-year position in “services,” also presumably in the social sector. The lowest paid Wharton grad walked out with a $30,000 job in an unknown field.

In a surprising number of cases, the lowest paid MBAs were not the non-profit types. At INSEAD, the lowest paid graduate in 2012 (the school’s commencement for its one-year MBA program is in December) was just $21,900 for a corporate planning job in media and entertainment in Asia Pacific. At Stanford, one MBA reported taking a $40,000-a-year job in consumer products and services, probably with a startup and a piece of equity. The lowest starting salary for the 5% of Stanford grads who went into the non-profit sector was $75,000, well above the lows in technology as well as media and entertainment. In fact, the high was a respectable $98,000 base. Nice work if you can get it, especially for a non-profit.

Highest Reported Base Salaries By Top Business Schools In 2013


School Compensation Industry
Northwestern (Kellogg) $375,000 (Base salary) Investment Management
Pennsylvania (Wharton) $350,000 (Base salary) Unknown
Columbia Business School $310,000 (Base salary) Private Equity
Duke (Fuqua) $260,000 (Base salary) Energy/General Management
Chicago (Booth) $250,000 (Base salary) Private Equity
INSEAD  $247,000 (Base salary) ** Private Equity
NYU (Stern) $237,600 (Base salary) Hedge Fund
Stanford Graduate School of Business $225,000 (Base salary) Private Equity
Harvard Business School $222,000 (Base salary) * Private Equity
London Business School $193,877 (Base salary) Finance
IE Business School $182,800 (Base salary) General Management
Dartmouth (Tuck) $180,000 (Base salary) Real Estate
Georgetown (McDonough) $180,000 (Base salary) Finance
Michigan (Ross) $168,000 (Base salary) Investment Banking
MIT (Sloan) $165,000 (Base salary) Private Equity
Emory (Goizueta) $162,000 (Base salary) Financial Services
Virginia (Darden) $160,000 (Base salary) Unknown
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) $160,000 (Base salary) Consulting
Indiana (Kelley) $160,000 (Base salary) Unknown
UCLA (Anderson) $160,000 (Base salary) Law

Source: Business school employment reports for 2013.  Note: * Conservative stimate based on HBS only disclosing top 75th percentile of base. ** INSEAD data for 2012 due to December graduation date.

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  • http://google.com Bruce

    What is wrong with you?

  • Ashish Anand

    seriously what the hell is wrong with you?

  • Ashish Anand

    I completely agree with u on this man

  • kiko

    Hes Turkish. Thats whats wrong with him.

  • Lara_MZ

    When you gamble i.e. taking on a student loan to get an MBA, you have to consider both the upside and the DOWNSIDE. Look at the range of salaries, the mean and the median. Worst case scenario – you get the lowest range. Best case scenario – you get $350k. Most likely scenario – you get the median. Down boy.

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