It has been a ride—2014, that is. In February, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. We all survived the dreaded Polar Vortex. The winter Olympics in Sochi were actually pretty good. And Scotland still did not leave the U.K. All the while, Poets&Quants focused on providing the best possible coverage for current and prospective MBA students.
Based on reader’s views, here is the top ten list of stories produced by P&Q (excluding rankings).
Times continue to be good for the majority of MBAs at top American b-schools. More than half of the top 30 schools saw either job placement stability or increases in 2013. Perhaps the two biggest surprises came from unexpected schools. First, North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler saw the biggest jump—up to 96.1% from 88% in 2012. For the second straight year, Emory’s Goizueta led with the highest placement rates at 98.1%.
Spoiler alert: $15,000 and $375,000. Those are the lowest and highest base salaries reported by business schools for their 2013 cohorts. The $15,000 was reported by Michigan’s Ross and $375,000 came from Northwestern’s Kellogg. Interestingly, Kellogg reported the highest base salary and a tie for the third lowest ($24,000). Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the highest salary came from an investment management position from a school that only had 3% of their graduates go into investment management.
Despite reports of a downward trend in applications to business schools, applications and thus competition at the top schools remain as high as ever. In fact, eight of the top 10 schools were harder to get into in 2013 than in 2012. The only top 10 schools to see an increase in acceptance rates (which were both less than a percent) were Tuck and Haas. Long story, short: Keep studying hard for those GMATs and diversifying your applications.
If you want to get paid the highest amount possible, you go to Harvard or Stanford. While technically still true, other schools are quickly joining the top shelf party and making a run at Stanford and Harvard. Wharton has increased average salaries over the past five years by more than 14% and its 2013 cohort made more than any other school. However, the largest just in salary averages over the past five years was easily Washington’s Foster, increasing by more than 36%.
Described as a “Clintonesque exhortation,” Casey Gerald’s commencement address stole the show at Harvard this year. Using zero notes, Gerald confidently took the podium in front of more than 900 of his peers and their families and divulged personal life lessons and a near death experience in front of a gunman in Dallas. The experience led him to pursuing his education and give his life to “a cause greater than” himself.