Starting Salaries By Industry At Top Schools

  • Dutch Ducre

    there used to be so much less easy access to information, interview prep, forums and connecting with professionals….those days are over, now talented students are less encumbered by status of top 5 vs top 20 programs and top 20 program talent is demonstrating the talent gap is not nearly what the old guard believed;

    I’m seeing this more and more even on the buy-side, where the ranks are more populated than ever with top grads outside of the traditional HWS etc

  • Gilles

    Finance salaries are typically not very high, so I don’t think W/C/B/NYU have a salary advantage in aggregate across all industries. In fact, it lowers average/median salaries.

    If I were one of the ~25-40 GSB grads heading into finance in NYC, you bet they can ask for a significant premium over typical finance powerhouse schools. Supply and Demand!

  • 3cents

    I am not sure whether it’s average or median. You’d better check this information on Forbes’ website. I think they publish a ranking methodology out there.

  • fidel305

    it seems we are having a heated agreement.

    schools like Wharton and booth, with a high percentage of placements in finance, benefit unfairly from an average comp number across all careers because their average includes more of the comparatively high finance salaries. the relevant measure is which schools get the highest averages in what field.

    Reliance on the broader average total comp over all jobs mostly affects the relative positions of Wharton, CBS, Booth, and Stern viz non-finance centric schools like Kellogg, sloan, Haas, etc. The big dogs H and S, do well with the broader measure regardless.

    And, clearly the finance types at Stanford actually do much better in terms of comp than Wharton etc; and if an appropriate weighted average were used would widen the rankings gap even more.

  • 2cents

    Thanks. they don’t parse by industry I take it do they? Are these average or median reported? I wouldn’t be shocked for example if GSB churns out a higher percentage of PE and hedge fund MD’s after five years than the average school, which would average a base well north of 221K

  • 2cents

    click on the finance slide. Stanford and HBS take that in a landslide if you’re just comparing average base salary.

  • bwanamia

    I would still like to see what these numbers look like after deflating for cost of living in expensive metros like NYC and SF.

  • 3cents

    Forbes in its last MBA ranking gives salaries five years out of school (class 2008, salaries at 2012 in USD). Top 20:

    1 Stanford 221,000
    2 London 214,000
    3 IMD 211,000
    4 Harvard 205,000
    5 Pennsylvania (Wharton) 205,000
    6 Chicago (Booth) 200,000
    7 Columbia 192,000
    8 Dartmouth (Tuck) 189,000
    9 MIT (Sloan) 185,000
    10 Northwestern (Kellogg) 176,000
    11 UC Berkeley (Haas) 175,000
    12 Insead 175,000
    13 SDA Bocconi 165,000
    14 UCLA (Anderson) 165,000
    15 NYU (Stern) 165,000
    16 Australian GSM 163,000
    17 Virginia (Darden) 158,000
    18 Cornell (Johnson) 155,000
    19 Michigan (Ross) 153,000
    20 Duke (Fuqua) 152,000

  • Orange 1

    Would think Columbia and NYU would be higher for finance compared to other schools. What’s going on there?

  • Non Profit

    This shows that if you want to do non-profit, go to a Finance powerhouse like Booth. You will get the non profit job and get paid well.

    If you went to a traditional non profit school like Yale, you would still get the job but at a 30% discount on salary

  • fidel305

    Demonstrates how use of simple average comp stats skews rankings in favor of finance schools, Wharton, Columbia, Booth and even Stern.

  • JohnAByrne

    It’s a really good question and you make a very valuable point. We are only scratching the surface here but it’s a nice surface to scratch because at least you get to look at this comparatively. The schools don’t make it easy. Some don’t include median numbers in their reports, making even these comparisons a little difficult. The only reliable data I have seen on years out is from PayScale but their sample sizes are way too small to slice and dice by industry category. The general data, however, does show that over the long term–even when the starting pay is even–the most highly selective schools deliver more cash to their alums long-term. See here:

  • 2cents


    One of the commenters below noted how remarkably flat starting salaries are across schools, which makes sense for larger companies with standardized and benchmarked compensation packages. While a $5-10K difference is meaningful on the fringe (over 20 years), it is small compared to the “real money” that people chasing compensation are looking for. In fact the most interesting packages are those with the lowest density. This would lead me to believe that as careers progress and graduates become more specialized, salaries should become more divergent if there is a school advantage (i.e. HBS & GSB v. the field, M7, etc.).

    I’m curious if there is any way to (maybe in the future) benchmark these numbers five, ten, or twenty years out by industry and median salary. In the Finance rolls clearly starting salary is scratching the surface of total compensation year one, and i imagine these numbers become far murkier with equity & bonus compensations in other industries. Still I figured I’d ask.

  • Beavis_Bunghole

    Interesting point too. A lot of those salaries look remarkably flat within the top 20 once you control for industry/job function.

  • avivalasvegas

    Great point!

  • avivalasvegas

    hahahaha!!! Hilarious stuff…Engam!

  • Ana

    The data captured here is the % of class. But if you look at the # of students who went into consulting for instance, Kellogg’s number of students will be greater than even Emory’s class size of 178ish. Same with CPG. Kellogg’s class size is 700ish compared to Emory’s 180ish.

  • avivalasvegas

    Makes sense but surprised me – Kellogg has never been a Tech school. . . though the MMM program must be driving this. So much for school’s being tied to their legacy industries.

  • EngamtMngrMcK

    in the latest employment report, 36% of Emory grads went to consulting with a median salary of $135K, similar to Harvard and Stanford and higher than many M7 schools. I strongly believe that Emory is the new powerhouse of consulting and within few years it will dominate this sector.

  • James Lee

    Oh wait, I’m a doofus.

  • James Lee

    That’s what happens when you have a booming tech industry throwing money at people. Notice that in Consulting and Consumer Products – Kellogg’s forte – Emory has the greatest % of people going into these industries, beating Kellog by 1 and 4 points, respectively, but Kellogg students favour tech over Emory’s by a 14-point margin.

  • Dan

    This is one of the most useful tables and accomplishes far more than the average compensation stat (which is a complete red herring). It’s no wonder schools like Wash U (HC) and Georgetown (non-profit) have lower starting salaries than U of Washington (tech).

  • avivalasvegas

    Wait a minute – Kellogg didn’t lead in consumer products? That’s a first, isn’t it?

  • JohnAByrne

    Percentage of the class going into that industry.

  • Yale

    Georgetown is the new non-profit school. Yale is over.

  • Bobby K

    Can you explain what the numbers next to each school mean? Are those the number of students that went into each sector?