Record 43% Of Haas MBAs Go Into Tech

Berkeley's Haas School of Business is ranked ninth among the best U.S. B-schools by Poets&Quants.

U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business

With UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business firmly planted in the red hot, tech heavy Bay Area, it’s natural for the school’s MBAs to venture into the tech business. Typically, a third of the graduates from Haas land jobs at tech firms. But this year the technology industry reached a new record, nabbing 43% of the school’s graduating MBAs.

That’s a significant increase of ten full percentage points up from the 33% of a year earlier. In fact, nine of the top 19 hiring companies at Haas this year were in the tech field, ranging from Adobe Systems to video game maker Zynga. All the usual tech suspects in MBA recruiting also were among the major employers: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, according to the school’s recently released 2014 employment report.

Berkeley joins UCLA’s Anderson School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management in sending unprecedented numbers of MBAs into tech this year. At MIT, 26.1% went into tech, while at Anderson, 26.2% accepted jobs in the technology industry. But no school–not even Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in the heart of Silicon Valley–had a higher percentage of its MBA grads go into tech than Berkeley. At 43% of the Haas class, the total was nearly 20 percentage points higher than Stanford where 24% of this year’s MBAs took jobs in tech. Oddly, Stanford saw a significant decline in tech hires which fell eight percentage points from 32% a year ago.


Haas said the median base salary for the Class of 2014 was $120,000, exactly the same as a year earlier. But average signing bonuses and other year-end guaranteed compensation were up to $26,865 and $31,107, respectively from $23,540 and $26,294. What’s more, an impressive 71.2% of the class received sign-on bonuses with their job offers, while 47.3% reported other guaranteed comp. Haas also disclosed that 30.8% of its graduates received stock or stock options, the value of which was not reported.

Interestingly, despite the big boost in tech jobs, technology paid less than the median or average in all three compensation components. Median salaries in tech were $115,000, some $5K less than the overall median. Sign-on bonuses averaged $26,023, about $800 less than the class average, while other year-end comp in tech averaged $29,574, about $1,500 under the overall average.

The school’s job offer rate was somewhat less impressive. Only 79% of the class had job offers at graduation. Three months later, the rate improved to 92%, below many other top business schools. In 2013 and 2013, 96% of the class had job offers three months after commencement.

The growth in tech’s popularity as a career path came at the expense of finance, energy, healthcare, and real estate. MBAs who accepted jobs in finance fell to 11.5%, its lowest level in five years. In 2013, 15% of the class went into finance. Energy saw the biggest drop this year, attracting only 3.8% of the class, down from 11% a year earlier. Healthcare and pharma also fell to 3.8%, from 7% last year, while real estate firms hired only 0.5% of the Class of 2014, down from 3% in 2013.


The consulting industry bucked the tech trend, bringing aboard 26% of Haas graduates, up from 24% a year earlier. Consulting also paid the highest median starting salaries, the standard business school offer of $135,000, as well as the highest average sign-on bonuses of $31,639. Haas reported that Accenture, Bain & Co., Deloitte Consulting, McKinsey & Co., and The Boston Consulting Group were all among its top employers this year.

Finance still paid out the highest average other year-end compensation at $33,661, though median salaries in financial services were just $117,500, nearly $18K lower than consulting. The second highest paying jobs by median salary were in healthcare, biotech and pharma which paid Haas MBAs $121,500 to start.

A slightly higher percentage of Haas MBAs this year also accepted jobs in the non-profit and social sector, 3.8% versus 3.0% a year earlier. Roughly the same number of graduates went into the consumer packaged goods and retail industries, 3.8% versus 4.0% in 2013.

How Haas’ Class of 2014 Compares

With Other Top Business Schools


SchoolMedian BaseSign-on BonusOther BonusJackpotGraduation OffersOffers 3 Months Later
MIT Sloan$124,400$25,000$20,000$169,40085.9%94.6%
Dartmouth (Tuck)$116,000$25,000$25,000$166,00091%98%
Michigan (Ross)$115,000$25,000$16,750$156,75089%93%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)$113,250$25,000$10,000$148,25079%90%
Duke (Fuqua)$111,000$25,000$15,000$151,00087%94%
New York (Stern)$110,000$30,000$20,000$160,00081%94%
UCLA (Anderson)$110,000$25,000$15,000$150,00075%90%
Virginia (Darden)$110,000$25,000$9,500$144,50089%94%
Cornell (Johnson)$106,000$25,000$12,500$143,50087%92%
UNC (Kenan-Flagler)$100,000$25,000$16,625$141,62581%92%
Texas-Austin (McCombs)$105,000$25,000$12,600$142,60080%94%
Emory (Goizueta)$100,000$25,000$12,500$137,00090.4%98.0%
Vanderbilt (Owen)$100,000$15,000$12,000$127,00083%94%
Washington (Olin)$100,000$15,000NA$115,00086%97%

Source: Business school employment reports & P&Q reporting

Notes: Jackpot refers to graduates receiving the median of all three forms of compensation: salary, signing bonus, and other year-end guaranteed bonus. Not all graduates are given all three. At Stanford, for example, sign-on bonuses this year were collected by half the class, while 38% of the MBAs received other year-end guaranteed compensation. An asterisk indicates average numbers rather than medians. An asterisk indicates a mean, rather than median, number.

Differences in pay often reflect industry choices and geography. Stanford’s higher median base can largely be attributed to the fact that 12% of this year’s class went into private equity, which currently pays the most lucrative comp packages to MBAs. The median PE starting base salary this year was $170,000. At Tuck, for example, only 4% of this year’s class went into private equity and the base for those PE jobs was just $120,000.


  • Stuart

    I don’t think this should be a surprise — since P&Q itself reported that Haas/Berkeley has the largest number of leaders in top tech firms versus the other top business schools. Also, it accords with Network World’s ranking from a couple of years back that Berkeley has spawned more top tech CEOs than H/S/MIT. Haas’ placement is indeed a bit off overall; I wonder if that can be explained by more graduates trying to network their way to a good start-up job, a process that can take longer. Start-ups tend not to work in an annual cycle, but hire when they need….

  • bwanamia

    What percentage of MBA hires in tech are positions in positive cash flow entities, e.g, Google, Apple, Microsoft, vs. start-ups/negative cash flow entities?

  • JohnAByrne

    Most of these MBA jobs in tech firms are in finance, marketing, product management, and logistics.

  • Bah Buh-Bah Bop

    I wonder if a majority of the MBAs in tech have an undergraduate engineering, computer science, or math degree. It would be hard to see a liberal arts major working for a tech company unless they are superb in one type of programming language: C++, Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, or mySQL/SQL.