Schools Where MBAs Get The Most Jobs

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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 SchoolFull-Time MBA Enrollment (Fall 2014)Full-Time MBA Graduates Employed Three Months After GraduationU.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 

DON’T MISS: SCHOOLS REPORT HEAVIER MBA RECRUITING

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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