Tech Hires Surge At Kellogg This Year

An MBA class at the Kellogg School of Management

An MBA class at the Kellogg School of Management

Graduating MBAs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management had a sweet departure from the school this year. Some 96%, matching an earlier record, had job offers three months after graduation, with record high median base salaries of $125,000. The total median pay package, including signing bonuses but not other guaranteed compensation, hit $139,747, up from $138,751.

“It is an incredibly positive year, and we’re incredibly proud of where our students landed,” says Liza Kirkpatrick, Kellogg’s new director of the career management center for the full-time MBAs. “Some 96% of the students received offers three months after graduation. We have a great median base salary and deep relationships with employers who value the talent pipeline.”

The 96% three-month job offer rate, up from 95% last year and 94% in 2014, matches the peak year of 2012. Kellogg said that 93% accepted those offers three months after commencement. Some 87% of the class had job offers at graduation, with 81% accepting them at the time.


Kellogg’s median base salary was up from $123,000 last year and $120,000 in 2014. Median sign-on bonuses, received by 59% of the class, were $25,000, same as last year. Unlike several of its peer schools, Kellogg does not publish numbers for other guaranteed compensation which would have increased the size of the total comp packages reported by graduates. At Kellogg, those guaranteed year-end bonuses tend to be lower at the school because it sends fewer graduates into financial services.

In fact, this year Kellogg grads entering finance hit a new low of 13%, down six percentage points from a year earlier, and nearly half the number of graduates who entered that core field just before the Great Recession. In both 2007 and 2008, one in four Kellogg MBAs—exactly 25%—accepted jobs in the finance industry.

Kirkpatrick says the drop was largely the function of declining interest in finance by Kellogg students. For the first time ever, however, the school sent fewer students into finance than even consumer products (see table of industry choices below). “It’s in line with the interests of the Class of 2016,” she says. “About 14% took internships in finance and 13% accepted full-time offers, but we had over 40 unique companies hiring our students in finance. We are not seeing less need. We are seeing shifts in student interest.”

Liza Kirkpatrick is the director of Kellogg's career management center for full-time MBAs

Liza Kirkpatrick is the director of Kellogg’s career management center for full-time MBAs


Though Morgan Stanley didn’t make this year’s top employer list at Kellogg, Goldman Sachs hired seven grads, Bank of America Merrill Lynch employed six, and JP Morgan Chase claimed five Kellogg MBAs. Not surprisingly, the highest reported salary this year was $250,000 for an MBA who joined an undisclosed private equity firm, while the lowest salary was $51,000 for a grad who took a job with an e-commerce outfit. Kellogg also reported a high salary of $225,000 for a tech-bound MBA grad and a $219,335 base for another grad who accepted a job with an energy company.

More than offsetting the drop in finance was surging demand from high tech firms for MBA talent and increasing interest in the industry from students. Graduates entering tech hit an all-time high this year of 22%, making technology the second most popular industry choice at Kellogg after only consulting. In the past six years, the percentage of Kellogg grads accepting jobs at tech firms has doubled from 11%. This year, it jumped by seven percentage points from only 15% in 2015.

The increase was fueled by significantly greater hiring commitments by several premier firms in the tech industry. Amazon hired 23 Kellogg MBAs, up from 16 a year earlier. Google’s offers were accepted by 12 grads, up from seven in 2015, while Apple hired 10 Kellogg MBAs, up from six. For the first time ever, Facebook and LinkedIn popped up on Kellogg’s major employer list, taking away three and five MBAs, respectively.

  • C. Taylor

    Awesome. Thanks, Anonymous. I very much appreciate your on-the-ground perspective in terms of numbers and recruiters. (And thanks avivalasvegas and AlsoA2ndYear. You guys added to the palpability of this exchange.)

    It also supports what I’ve seen from other sources. It appears Kellogg is fine in banking–if you have a strong background and or network, and are targeting one of the main hiring firms.

    The apparent danger is when someone might think she has a strong background, but doesn’t–and or is targeting firm outside that specific group of firms.

  • Brad

    As a current Kellogg student I can shed some light.

    Kellogg is phenomenal in providing resources and recruiting for consulting, tech and CPG.

    In IB, here are the hard numbers. Around 60 students in the class of 2016 wanted IB internships. Around 40-45 got IB internships and around 25 received full time offers.

  • avivalasvegas

    I’ve already stated I work for a Fortune 30 company. I hope, for your sake, you can say atleast the same upon graduation. From what I’ve seen, the odds aren’t looking too good.

  • avivalasvegas

    What responses like “you don’t know a single thing that matters” and “couldn’t care less”, you’re highlighting the very argument I’m making about fluff.

    As far as the merit of the students being the driver of their employment, I don’t think I’ve actually called a Kellogg student a half wit before….but only a half wit would think that a MBA career center wouldn’t or shouldn’t be responsible for the employment of its students to a great degree.

  • AlsoA2ndYear

    There were several students that interned in IB that turned down offers because they hated the culture. It’s not always about the money.

    Having said that, I think what is driving this is incoming student preference. Every year more students are coming into Kellogg wanting to go into tech. Tech companies pay well, have better hours than consulting/banking, and are having an impact on pretty much every industry. Plus, the Bay Area is a hot place to live right now. I’m not sure if this is a goal of admissions, or just preferences are changing in general. Also, in the past few years, Kellogg’s Tech Club has done an amazing job stoking that interest throughout the fall and adding structure to recruiting prep, which ensures students feel excited and comfortable recruiting for tech. Expect those numbers to keep going up.

  • Brad

    As a recent Kellogg grad who interned in banking and went full time in a non banking role, I can say that Kellogg CMC does not put enough effort into banking recruiting.

    A few concrete examples where they fail.

    Deutsche bank, UBS, JPM, credit suisse, Jeffries, Lazard, etc all of these banks used to previously conduct on campus interview OCR at Kellogg but no longer do. Kellogg is getting worse at banking recruiting not better.

    The career advisors, profs and alumni do a good job but the CMC business development team who are supposed to retain and develop contacts with banks have been bleeding banks coming to interview on campus.

    CMC likes to show a list of 40 financial firms recruiting at Kellogg. You ask them how many come to do on campus interviews and you will realize it is around 12.

    Even financial firms like Amex where it is relatively easier to get a company finance/treasury role has stopped coming to campus for OCR and the CMC team was completely unaware. I wish they hire someone who was an MD at an IBank to run the business development for the financial firms.

  • 2nd year

    Adding to that, the knowing the names of career directors from a school you didn’t even attend demonstrates you are an admissions consultant, which is pretty much the lamest job you can get with a MBA degree.

  • 2nd year

    Jesus, please stop. Saying that students that came from consulting are fluff is utterly ridiculous. Being Indian/chinese says nothing about excel skills, but rather being a banker or consultant before does (whatever nationality). Saying the Tech club is doing nothing demonstrates you don’t know a single thing that matters. As a 2nd year student I didn’t know Liza nor the ones before but quite frankly couldnt care less. It’s not CMCs merit that the students are/aren’t getting jobs but merit of the students themselves.

  • avivalasvegas

    Kellogg is the school you WANT to go to if you want a job in banking. Its a classic case of not enough supply of interested students to fill the heads allocated to Kellogg from the same banks that visit Booth, CBS and Wharton, to the school’s point.

    Visa sponsorship from Banking and Consulting firms typically means that the Career Center if filled with a higher proportion of Excel whizzes from China and India applying for those jobs. Not many get these due to language and cultural incompatibility, so they move to tech, to your point.

  • C. Taylor

    I’d like to see comment from ’14 and ’16 alums who opted for tech over banking. It seems there is an inverse relationship between tech and banking selection. The ‘bump’ might not be a bump.

    I am wondering if this is because they couldn’t land the prime banking jobs they wanted so opted for tech, or if tech actually did woo them away. Kellogg suggests not, saying 40 financial firms sought hires at Kellogg. Would be nice to hear from some of the grads in question.

  • avivalasvegas

    To be clear, I didn’t go to Booth and my Top 5 school doesn’t consider Kellogg a rival program. You neglected to include GSB’s consulting (or tech) mix and attempted to compare HBS’s 25% consulting to 33%? Essentially, by that you’re saying 1 out of 4 = 1 out of 3. If you went to Kellogg, perhaps you should consider learning to be an Excel monkey because you just validated the school’s stereotype and probably addressed your point on why fewer finance career hopefuls STEM from Kellogg.

    Since you asked what I would like, I’ll answer. I’d like Kellogg to have classrooms where only 1 consultant can contribute as part of the 4-5 team member study/ assignment sessions the school prides itself on innovating. Increase that number and you start seeing how folks from other backgrounds like industry and tech (not to mention countries) get a bit overshadowed by…well…fluff. Add in the relative lack of pedigree from Deloitte, PWC, IBM and the lot and you’ve got some serious harm being done to what was once a strong student group study environment.

    Since you’re a long time fan, you’ll know that I blame Sally and Betsy for this. They’ll do whatever it takes to prop those metrics up, like the good former consultants they are. All while remaining oblivious to how they’re fundamentally damaging the DNA of the program, perhaps permanently.

  • M7hopeful

    Every single Kellogg article published on this site, you feel the need to come out of hibernation and tear the school down. It’s becoming increasingly obvious how insecure you are about your alma mater (Booth) and how it compares with Kellogg. Normal people don’t feel the need to denigrate a rival school at every turn.

    Kellogg does not send many more people into consulting than any of the other top schools. From 2016 employment reports released over the last couple months:

    * Kellogg: 33% consulting
    * Booth: 30.1% consulting
    * Wharton: 26.6% consulting
    * HBS: 25% consulting

    It also sends FAR fewer students into finance than other top schools:

    * Kellogg: 13% finance
    * Booth: 35.9% finance
    * Wharton: 35.1% finance
    * HBS: 35% finance

    Would you want *more than a third* of your classroom filled with nothing but Excel monkeys?

    Also, tech isn’t seeing the same bump at other top schools, so your argument that the “booming industry” is responsible for the increase in tech is invalid:

    * Kellogg: 22% tech
    * Booth: 15.6% tech
    * Wharton: 12.6% tech
    * HBS: 12% tech

    Try backing your “fluff” up with a little more data next time.

  • avivalasvegas

    Things are looking worse than ever before for the career center at Kellogg. After Michael Malone, now Mark Gasche has been replaced by Liza Kirkpatrick! She’s been around as an advisor forever, which makes her “nice” but knows less about how to cater to evolving recruiter needs than most incoming students. (For Kellogg students reading this, try talking to her about a career not rooted in consulting and let us know how that goes)

    While the increase in tech is reflective more of the booming industry vs. any efforts the Tech club and the career center have made, it is truly sad that to this day, 1 out of 3 students at Kellogg ends up a management consultant. Would you want a classroom with a third filled with nothing but fluff?