Salaries & Offers Up At Chicago Booth

Chicago's Booth School of Business

Chicago’s Booth School of Business

Median salaries and job offers went up this year for the graduating MBAs at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. The median base salary rose to $120,000, up $5,000 from last year’s $115,000. Only six years ago, in 2009, median salaries at the school were just $100,000. Only three business schools have higher median starting salaries: Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, all of which have reported a median base this year of $125,000.

Median sign-on bonuses, received by six out of every ten graduates, were $25,000, exactly the same as they were last year, while other year-end guaranteed bonus, reported by 16% of the MBAs, was $26,000. For a graduating student lucky enough to pick up all three elements of compensation, the potential first-year comp package would total $171,000.

Even more impressive, however, is the number of Class of 2014 graduates who had job offers. This year 98% had at least one offer of employment three months after graduation, up from 93.7% last year, while 89.8% had offers at graduation, up from 86.3%. Of all the top schools to issue 2014 employment reports so far, only Wharton, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and Emory University’s Goizueta School of match the 98% offer rate hit by Booth.

What’s more, international students at the school actually posted slightly better job offer rates than domestic students–just as they did last year. That’s typically unusual because it often takes MBAs from overseas longer to land offers of employment due to visa restrictions as well as job searches that extend overseas. But 99.3% of the international graduates had offers three months after graduation, up from 94.7% a year ago, while a highly impressive 93.4% had offers at commencement, up from 87% in 2013. The numbers come from the school’s newly released 2014 employment report.


Consulting giant McKinsey & Co. again topped the school’s list of major employers, hiring 40 MBAs out of a class of 572 graduates, virtually the same number it employed a year-ealier when 41 Boothies accepted their McKinsey offers. Boston Consulting Group was right behind McKinsey, bringing aboard 25 MBAs from Booth, while yet another Big Three consulting firm, Bain & Co., came next with 16 hires. Rounding out the top employers who hired in double digits from the class were Accenture (13), Credit Suisse (12), and Deloitte Consulting (11).

Unlike Columbia Business School, where the financial sector hires fell to all-time lows, Chicago Booth actually placed more of its MBAs in finance this year than last. Some 36.4% of the class headed into the financial industry, up slightly from 35% a year earlier. Besides Credit Suisse, a host of major financial players gained Booth MBAs, including Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of American/Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, and Barclays Capital all were among the school’s top recruiting companies this year.

The school managed to boost its exposure to the financial sector thanks to increases in hires by investment banking and brokerage firms, private equity outfits, and diversified financial service companies. MBAs accepting i-banking and brokerage jobs rose to 15.6% this year, up from 14.2% a year ago, while 5.9% of the class landed jobs in private equity, up from 3.8% last year. The highest reported starting salary in the class–$275,000–went to a graduate with more than five years of work experience who landed one of those PE jobs.

More Booth MBAs also found jobs in technology, consumer products, energy, real estate, and non-profits. The second most popular industry at the school–management consulting–fell slightly this year to 27.9%, from 30.7% a year ago.

The highest median salaries–$137,500–in the class went to the 10 MBAs who landed jobs in venture capital. Otherwise, consulting and private equity paid out median base salaries of $135,000.

How Chicago’s Class of 2014 Compares

With Other Top Business Schools


School Median Base Sign-on Bonus Other Bonus Jackpot Graduation Offers Offers 3 Months Later
Harvard $125,000 $25,000 $34,700 $184,700 88% 93%
Stanford $125,000 $25,000 $31,500 $181,500 80% 94%
Wharton $125,000 $25,000 $27,000 $177,000 88% 98%
Chicago $120,000 $25,000 $26,000 $171,000 89.8% 98.0%
Columbia $119,400 $25,000 $22,390 $1966,790 83% 97%
Dartmouth (Tuck) $116,000 $25,000 $25,000 $166,000 91% 98%
Michigan (Ross) $115,000 $25,000 $16,750 $156,750 89% 93%
Duke (Fuqua) $111,000 $25,000 $15,000 $151,000 87% 94%
UCLA (Anderson) $110,000 $25,000 $15,000 $150,000 75% 90%
Virginia (Darden) $110,000 $25,000 $9,500 $144,500 89% 94%
Cornell (Johnson) $106,000 $25,000 $12,500 $143,500 87% 92%
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) $100,000 $25,000 $16,625 $141,625 81% 92%
Texas-Austin (McCombs) $105,000 $25,000 $12,600 $142,600 80% 94%
Emory (Goizueta) $100,000 $25,000 $12,500 $137,000 90.4% 98.0%
Vanderbilt (Owen) $100,000 $15,000 $12,000 $127,000 83% 94%
Washington (Olin) $100,000 $15,000 NA $115,000 86% 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.

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.

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