When business schools begin reporting their pay and placement stats for the Class of 2014, what can you expect?
By and large, starting salaries and sign-on bonuses are expected to remain relatively stable. Greater numbers of MBA grads are going into the technology and finance industries. And more of them will have gotten their full-time offers as a result of summer internships and alumni, faculty and staff networks–as opposed to on-campus recruiting events.
That’s the earliest reading of the tea leaves from Washington University’s Olin School of Business, the first of the top business schools to report data on the Class of 2014. Most business schools will begin reporting their stats later in the fall. The Olin numbers, though based on a relatively small MBA class of 140 students, are a harbinger of pretty good news for the MBA employment front.
MEDIAN SALARIES AND SIGN-ON BONUSES REMAIN STEADY AT $100K & $15K
This year’s Wash U MBAs landed median base salaries of $100,000, exactly the same as last year, with median sign-on bonuses of $15,000, also equal to last year’s bonus number. This is the first year in the past four that median pay stayed the same. Last year, median base was up $5,000 from $95,000 in 2012, which was up from $90,000 in 2011. Some 96% of the class accepted a job offer within three months of graduation.
The highest reported starting salary for Olin’s class was $135,000 for a management consulting job. That’s just about the same as highest pay received by a class member in 2013 when one MBA landed a marketing job paying $137,500 to do business development for an unnamed company.
The more compelling trends this year have to do with how MBAs are getting their jobs and who’s hiring them. This year, Olin reported that internships were the source of job offers for 42% of the graduating class of MBAs, up from 35% a year earlier. (see table above). Alumni, faculty and staff connections helped graduates in 16% of the cases, up from 12% last year. Students who actually got their jobs through on-campus recruiting declined to just one in five, 20% this year compared to 24% last year.
SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN MBAS GOING INTO FINANCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Jobs in finance, which has been making a slow recovery since the Great Recession, had a fairly sizable pickup. Some 21% of Olin’s MBAs this year went into finance, up five full percentage points from the 16% who took that route in 2013 (see chart at right). It was the single biggest industry shift in MBA jobs. Tech firms also hired more of the school’s graduates, gobbling up 11% of the class, up from 8% last year. Also up slightly were jobs in consumer products (17% vs. 16%), healthcare and pharma (16% vs. 15%). Consulting was down by two full percentage points to 9% from 11% a year earlier, while manufacturing was also down (9% from 10%).
The industry paying the highest median salaries at Olin was energy and petroleum, which attracted 7% of the class with median pay of $112,500. It was followed by financial services ($110,000) and consulting ($100,000), All other industry sectors paid Olin MBAs starting salaries below six-figures (see table below).