The Best B-Schools For Great Jobs

jobsHappy days are here again! 

Business school graduates are humming that tune all the way to their first jobs. And it’s quite a procession! According to the latest U.S. News and World Report stats, 82% of 2013 full-time MBA grads had landed jobs within three months of graduation. If you think that number is low, consider this: Only 73% of MBAs were hired in 2010.

Financially, graduates are sitting pretty too. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, median base salaries grew from $90,000 in 2012 to $95,000 this year. In fact, MBAs still earn higher starting salaries than graduates from any other master’s programs.  U.S. News also reports that employers had greater demand for MBAs in the energy-utilities and health care-pharmaceuticals sectors.

There are a number of factors impacting placement rates, including school reputation, alumni networks, recruiter sentiments, program specialties, school outreach, and area opportunities. Still, some schools simply do better at getting their students hired. So which schools were the best in 2013? Here is U.S. News’ assessment, based on the percentage of graduates finding jobs within three months of graduation:

SchoolEnrollmentPlacementRankAverage Starting Salary and Bonus
University of Albany-SUNY

78

100.0%

87

$56,600

University of Tulsa (Collins)

57

96.3%

96

$57,310

Emory University (Goizueta)

352

96.2%

20

$124,148

Washington University (Olin)

282

96.0%

22

$110,533

University of Washington (Olin)

236

95.8%

25

$118,759

Georgia Tech (Scheller)

136

95.7%

27

$108,055

Brigham Young (Marriott)

320

95.4%

27

$110,216

Rutgers University – New Brunswick and Newark

233

95.2%

60

$94,043

California-Davis

97

94.9%

41

$88,301

Rice University (Jones)

223

93.8%

33

$115,693

Two of the lowest-ranked (and smallest programs), the University of Albany and the University of Tulsa, top the list. In fact, Albany reports a phenomenal 100% placement. While Emory University is just a tenth of a percentage point behind Tulsa, its graduates enjoy a starting compensation package that more than doubles Albany and Tulsa combined (as do the University of Washington and Rice University)!

And how do the top 10 schools fare when it comes to three-month placement rates? Here are U.S. News’ findings in that segment:

SchoolEnrollmentPlacementRankAverage Starting Salary and Bonus
Harvard

1851

89.4%

1

$138,346

Stanford

809

89.7%

1

$137,525

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

1677

93.4%

1

$141,243

University of Chicago (Booth)

1176

90.8%

4

$135,982

MIT (Sloan)

819

87.4%

5

$137,057

Northwestern (Kellogg)

1148

91.0%

6

$135,838

California-Berkeley (Haas)

497

91.6%

7

$134,078

Columbia

1279

90.3%

8

$137,654

Dartmouth (Tuck)

560

90.8%

9

$139,036

NYU (Stern)

786

93.2%

10

$131,975

Last year, Poets&Quants questioned whether Wharton was an undervalued stock. After zooming up to tie Harvard and Stanford, no one is underestimating Wharton anymore. That’s particularly true after Wharton led all top 10 schools in the categories that matter most to graduates: placement (93.4%) and starting compensation ($141,243). In fact, Harvard and Stanford had the lowest placement rate of any top 10 school aside from Sloan. And their placement rates fell short of the percentages produced by schools like the University of Indiana (Kelley), the University of Texas (McCombs), and the University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) … though the entrepreneurial DNA at Harvard and Stanford could be skewing those stats.

Source: U.S. News and World Report

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