Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6

Record Starting Pay At Columbia B-School

Columbia Business School recruitment day - Ethan Baron photo

Columbia Business School recruitment day – Ethan Baron photo

Columbia Business School has turned in the bottom line results for the Class of 2015 and they are awfully good numbers, again proving that this year is wrapping up as the best ever in both pay and employment for graduates of the top MBA programs.

Columbia said median base salaries rose 4.7% to $125,000 for the class, with 62.4% of the graduates receiving median sign-on bonuses of $25,000 each, and another 19.8% landing other guaranteed first-year compensation of $25,000. All told, the typical Columbia MBA walked away with a first-year median comp package of $146,645, up from the $139,715 level of only a year ago. So far, that’s just behind No. 1 Stanford at $160,287 and No. 2 Harvard at $151,211 and slightly above Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck (see below chart).

It was the second year in a row of rising starting salaries at Columbia after a three-year stall at a $110,000 base. Last year, base pay rose to $119,400 from that $110K level in 2013. At the height of the Great Recession in 2009, Columbia grads earned $100,000 in starting salaries and only 77.3% of them had accepted jobs three jobs after graduation.


With the economic implosion now only a dim memory, the school said that 97% of its graduating class had job offers three months after graduation–the same high percentage as last year–while 93% had accepted their positions three months out, up two points from the 91% acceptance rate for the Class of 2015.

There were some very big numbers in the mix. One graduating MBA at Columbia reported a first-year guaranteed bonus from his job of $467,000. The MBA was among the 4.1% of the class headed into private equity. Another graduating MBA reported a class high starting salary of $320,000 for a job with a consumer products manufacturing company. The highest base salaries in finance this year were $250,000 to students who assumed investment management positions.

MBA jobs in investment banking and brokerage, hedge funds, and consulting largely drove the class median up this year. Columbia MBAs who went into consulting saw offers raise to $140,000 in salary to start, up from $135,000. But the biggest increases occurred in finance. I-bankers saw median bases rise to $125,000 from $100,000, commercial bankers realized increases to $125,000 from $115,000, while grads lucky to land a job with a hedge fund saw their starting salary jump to $150,000 from $132,000 a year earlier.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.