Time and again, the numbers bear it out: An MBA is almost invariably a ticket to greater wealth and professional prestige. Graduation from an elite program all but guarantees improvement in one’s station, whatever the industry, and it all starts with that first job after graduation. New statistics show that MBAs from a top-25 or top-50 school have to work hard to NOT find employment within three months of collecting their degrees.
Among the top 25 B-schools in the most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking, 18 boast MBA job placement rates of 90% or better three months after graduation. Eleven of the top 25 programs, meanwhile, have 80% or greater rates at the time of graduation; expand the scope to the top 50, and you can add another seven schools over the 80% threshold.
Of 131 MBA programs ranked by U.S. News that provided job placement data, the average employment rate three months after graduation among full-time 2016 MBAs was 88.3%. Leading the way: Temple University’s Fox School of Business, which reported an astounding 100% placement rate for the 37 full-time MBA grads who sought employment. Among the top 25 schools, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis had the best placement rate, 96.3%, followed by Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (95.6%), the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (95.5%), and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (95.2%).
The Graduate Management Admission Council released a report this month declaring the MBA job outlook in 2017 better than ever. The annual Corporate Recruiters Survey Report found that 86% of companies across the globe plan to hire recent MBA graduates, up from 79% in 2016, while 74% of startups also had plans to bring an MBA — or two on board.
Demand is strongest in the United States and Asia-Pacific, where 9 in 10 respondents plan to hire MBA graduates in 2017, the report found. It also found that a large number of employers planning to hire new MBAs in 2017 plan to increase (42%) or maintain (47%) the number of recent MBAs they hire compared with last year.
“This year’s report brings to light the continued value of the MBA degree to the marketplace,” says Megan Hendricks, executive director of MBA CSEA, a global alliance of graduate business career management professionals and employers.
AT ONE SCHOOL WITH LOW RATE, STUDENTS HAVE FREEDOM TO BE SELECTIVE
In addition to its 100% three-month rate, Temple Fox, ranked No. 32 overall by U.S. News, was the only school in the top 50 to boast a placement rate over 90% at the time of graduation (91.9%). The next closest was Dartmouth Tuck’s 86.8%.
Washington Olin may be the best school for three-month placement among the top 25, but its 96.3% is actually a drop from the previous year, when it reported a 97.1% rate. Of those 25 schools, 11 — including such elites as Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, and Stanford Graduate School of Business — saw decreases from 2015 to 2016, though most were very small decreases. Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business fell the furthest, 4.3 percentage points, from 89.5% in 2015 to 85.2% in 2016; UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business fell 4.1 points, from 93.8% to 89.7%, and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business dropped 3.9 points, from 94.3% to 90.4%.
Similarly, there were no big jumps in three-month placement rate, with one exception: USC’s Marshall School of Business leaped 10.5 percentage points, from 81% in 2015 to 91.5% in 2016.
Just like last year, the top 25 had its surprises — and one of them was the same as last year: Stanford GSB. In 2015, 92% of Stanford grads had offers within 90 days of graduation, but only 86.2% had accepted — the result of a high level of selectivity, according to the director of the school’s Career Management Center. Likewise, Stanford’s 2016 rate of 82.4% indicates that, in the words of Maeve Richard, who is also an assistant dean at the school, “The strong market has allowed them to defer decisions about multiple offers, and in some cases, turn down offers to remain focused on searching for an ideal opportunity.”
See the following pages for the placement rates at graduation and 90 days after at all of the top 50 schools.