Schools Where MBAs Get The Most Jobs


Schools Where MBAs Get the Most Jobs

“Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!”

That phrase should be engraved above every business school entrance (“Officia! Officia! Officia!”). Let’s be real: Students aren’t giving up two years and two hundred grand just for self-awareness and personal growth. Business school is an investment, a high stakes risk where professionals take themselves off the market to groom themselves for a career change or executive leadership.

For many, the investment pays off. According to the most recent GMAC alumni report, an MBA doubles the purchasing power of American MBAs, who earn a median base salary of $110,000. When it comes to career advancement, 79% of MBAs who graduated from 1990-1999 are currently working in executive level or c-suite roles.

Before all that, MBAs need to find a job first. Mind you, this isn’t law school, where barely 57% of graduates find jobs nine months after graduation. No doubt, MBAs are in demand. In fact, nearly three-fourths are employers surveyed by GMAC plan to hire MBAs in 2015. That’s all and good, but it ignores one fact: Some programs’ graduates are in more demand than others.

According to new data from U.S. News & World Report, the most popular employer is – brace for it – the University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business. What? Despite ranking 83rd in U.S. News’ 2016 business school rankings, the program managed a 100% placement rate with an enrollment of 42 graduates in 2014. That’s particularly surprising, as the school notched a 2.2 score among recruiters (on a 5.0 scale), the lowest among the top 100 programs. Who is their largest employer? That would be Grant Thornton, a tax, audit and advisory firm headquartered in Chicago. And starting salaries for Collins grads — $64,067 – are nothing to write home about. Still, their placement rate and starting salaries are much higher than programs ranked near them. These include: The University of Missouri (73.8% / $58,049), Auburn University (85.3% / $57,848), the University of Cincinnati (93.1% / $59,007), and Iowa State University (95.2% / $61,332).

More surprisingly, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is ranked second with an impressive 97.2% placement rate within three months of graduation. The surprise isn’t that Booth, U.S. News’ 4th ranked program, performed so well. It is that Booth has nearly 1,200 first and second-year full-time students, meaning the number of students without jobs is almost statistically insignificant. Booth grads, who were snapped up by McKinsey, BCG, Bain & Company, Accenture, Deloitte, and Credit Suisse in 2014, also earned $137,615 in salary and bonus to start. However, this average falls short of what graduates from lower ranked programs are earning, including Haas ($140,935), Columbia ($139,006), Tuck ($142,489), and Ross ($140,497).

Like Booth, Wharton made an impressive showing on placement, finishing ninth at 95.6%, despite having over 500 more first and second-year students than Booth. However, Wharton starting salaries have fallen behind Stanford, Harvard, and Sloan – with only $85 separating average first year earnings between Wharton and Tuck. Ranked 19th overall, Washington University (Olin) also made some headlines with a 96.9% placement rate. However, average salary for starting MBAs — $111,974 – fell far below lower ranked public programs like Arizona State ($112,884), Georgia Tech ($115,279), and Penn State ($114,971). In fact 48th-ranked Southern Methodist (Cox) has higher starting wages ($112,071) than Olin.

So where do the top programs rate when it comes to placement? Stanford reported a 92.1% placement average for MBAs within 3 months of graduation, which could stem from graduates being more particular about where they work (or taking a few months off before making a decision). Harvard grads produced an 89.4% rate, with Sloan (92.8%), Columbia (91.1%), Tuck (93.8%), and Darden (93.4%) and Stern (90.4%) also staying above the 90% threshold. In fact, the top 25 schools maintained a placement average of 86% or higher, with the lowest being Haas (86.7%). Among the top 50, every school maintained an 80% or better average except for the University of Illinois (79.7%), though the starting salaries for University of Texas-Dallas grads ($83,901) is certain to raise some eyebrows.

To see the top 10 schools for placement, go to the chart below.

The Top Ten Schools For MBA Placement

Business School Full-Time MBA Enrollment (Fall 2014) Full-Time MBA Graduates Employed Three Months After Graduation U.S. News B-School Rank
 University of Tulsa (Collins)  42  100%  83 (Tie)
 University of Chicago (Booth)  1,181  97.2%  4
 College of Charleston (SC)  36  97.1%  RNP
 Washington University of St. Louis (Olin)  281  96.9%  19
 University of Pittsburgh (Katz)  161  96.2%  48 (Tie)
 Texas A&M University (Mays)  113  96.1%  27 (Tie)
 University of Washington (Foster)  248  95.8%  23
 Michigan State University (Broad)  150  95.6%  37 (Tie)
 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)  1,711  95.6%  3
 University of Kansas  57  95.5%  88 (Tie)

Source: U.S. News & World Report 


Source: U.S. News & World Report


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