Average MBA Pay Up 4.3% At NYU Stern


New York University’s Stern School of Business today (Dec. 18) reported that more of its graduates are taking jobs in consulting as the average starting salary for a Class of 2014 MBA rose 4.3% to $112,096. Median base salary also rose by an even more impressive 10%, or $10,000, to $110,000 this year, while median sign-on bonuses–received by 76% of Stern’s graduates–remained steady at $30,000. The school told Poets&Quants that median other guaranteed compensation came out to $20,000, slightly less than the $20,601 last year.

But Stern, long known as one of the top business schools to beat a quick path to Wall Street, saw a signifiant decline in finance jobs. MBAs who ventured into the world of finance this year fell to 35% of the class, down from 42% last year. There were declines in investment banking, investment management and hedge funds, and especially private equity and venture capital. Only a year ago, 3% of Stern’s class gained jobs at PE and VC firms. This year the number was so low it remained unreported.

The decline in finance has been a nearly universal trend among the top business schools, with a few exceptions that include Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. At New York City rival Columbia Business School, finance fell to 35% from 38% a year earlier. But at Columbia, it was as high as 56% in 2008 before the Great Recession hit. At Wharton, MBAs taking jobs in finance this year fell to 36%, from 39% a year earlier and 48% in 2008.


Unlike most other business schools that have experienced a significant rise in tech jobs, Stern mainly relied on the consulting industry to fill the gap filled by finance. Stern said the percentage of students who accepted jobs in entertainment, media and technology—the broad category it uses to include tech industry positions—was 11%, just a tad higher than 10% a year earlier.

Even so, an increasing number of Stern MBAs are heading west, presumably to jobs in the Bay Area where tech has fueled an economic boom in recent years. This year, the school said that 10% of the Class of 2014 headed to the west, up from only 4% two years ago.

Stern said average salary for its graduates was $112,096, up from $107,450 in 2013. The average sign-on bonus fell slightly to $31,183, from $32,886 last year. Other year-end guaranteed compensation also fell to $24,443, from $28,080 a year earlier. The upshot: The average total compensation for those receiving all three forms of pay totaled $167,722, slightly less than the $168,396 average in 2013, ostensibly a result of the shift away from finance which tends to pay more backend compensation.

The highest average sign-on bonuses, for example, went to MBAs who gained jobs in investment banking: $41,992. The highest other year-end guaranteed compensation was scored by graduates who accepted jobs in investment management and hedge funds: $52,667. The highest paid MBA in the class this year landed a $200,000 job in real estate. The next highest base pay–$175,000–was achieved by an MBA who accepted a strategic planning position in media/entertainment/technology.


Stern’s career report is sparse, among the least revealing of the top business schools. It fails to list median numbers, which were provided to Poets&Quants, and does not disclose either job offers or acceptances at graduation or three months later. The school also doesn’t list its major employers, and it also fails to report the percentage of the class upon which its statistics are based. Instead of issuing an actual employment report, Stern simply puts up a page with some stats on its website.

NYU told Poets&Quants that 81% of the Class of 2014 had job offers at graduation, while 94% had offers of employment three months after commencement. Both numbers were roughly the same as last year when 83% of the students had offers at graduation and 96% had them three months later. This year’s three-month rate was equal to such schools as Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business (see Best & Worst 2014 MBA Job Placement at Top Schools).

Roxanne Hori, who joined the school in late August to lead a new integrated corporate relations and career services department, told Poets&Quants that a more complete career management report will be published next year. Hori arrived at NYU from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management which has consistently produced some of the most transparent career reports of any business school.

Average Pay & Bonus At Stern From 2014 to 2012


Average Pay & Bonus 2014 2013 2012
Starting Base Salary $112,096 $107,450 $107,875
Sign-On Bonus $31,183 $32,886 $32,054
Other Year-End Guaranteed Compensation $24,443 $28,080 $27,773
Total Average Compensation* $167,722 $168,396 $167,702

Source: NYU Stern employment reports Note: * For students receiving all three forms of compensation

(See following page for the career choices of Stern MBAs from 2014 to 2012)

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