The graduating MBAs at New York University’s Stern School of Business saw a 4.8% increase in total starting compensation packages last year, reaching a new record of $144,199, from $137,582 in 2014. The rise was largely driven by a $10,000 boost in median base salaries of $120,000, up from $110,000 in 2014 and $100,000 in 2013.
Median sign-on bonuses, received by 75% of the class, fell to $25,500 from $30,000 a year earlier, while median “other guaranteed compensation,” collected by 25% of the graduates, was $20,000–exactly the same as received by the Class of 2014. Those numbers put Stern MBAs just below Dartmouth Tuck, Wharton and Columbia, but slightly above Duke Fuqua, Chicago Booth, and Northwestern Kellogg for 2015 (see table below).
All in all, it was a very good year at Stern, following a pattern of record numbers at most of the prestige business schools that have filed 2015 employment reports. The school’s report, published on its website, found that 83% of its graduating class had job offers at graduation, up from 81% a year earlier, while 93% reported job offers three months after commencement, a tad down from 94% in 2014. Some 79% of the class accepted their offers by graduation, while 89% accepted three months later, according to the school.
I-BANKING PAID THE HIGHEST SIGN-ON AND OTHER GUARANTEED BONUSES FOR THE CLASS OF 2015
Though the percentage of the class entering investment banking fell again to 24%, down from 27% last year and 30% in 2013, Stern MBAs who went the ibanking route reported the highest sign-on bonuses and other guaranteed bonuses. Signing bonuses for the investment bankers in the class averaged $45,963 versus $25,674 for consultants who scored the second highest sign-ons. The average guaranteed bonus to grads joining investment banks was $36,417, compared with $23,136 for MBAs entering the tech field, which paid the second-highest other guaranteed comp.
The consulting firms, however, dangled the highest base salaries in front of Stern grads this year: A median of $135,000, some $10K more than investment banking firms paid. Still, the class’ highest reported starting base of $150,000 also was landed by a graduate who accepted a job in investment banking. The lowest base–just $30,000 to start–was reported by an MBA who went into the entertainment/media field.
Otherwise, there were only slight changes in the mix of industry choices by Stern grads, probably a welcome stability at one of the primary Wall Street feeder business schools that has seen a significant shift away from finance since the Great Recession of 2008. At Stern, finance is still the No. 1 choice of graduates, with 34% of the Class of 2015 entering the field, just a sliver of a percentage point lower than last year. Only six students, or 1% of the class, started companies by graduation, down from 2% in 2014.
STERN OUTPUT TO FINANCE SIMILAR TO COLUMBIA, WHARTON AND CHICAGO BOOTH
That’s not very far off from other top schools. Columbia Business School last year sent the highest percentage of its MBA output into finance, 37.1%, slightly more than Wharton’s 36.9%% or Chicago Booth’s 34.8%. The more compelling difference among these schools is the percentage going into two of the most lucrative finance fields: private equity and venture capital. Wharton sent 7.3% of its Class of 2015 to PE and buyout firms, compared to 4.9% by Chicago and 4.1% by Columbia. In venture capital, Wharton reported that 2% of its grads went into VC, with 1.2% at Columbia, and 0.9% at Chicago. In contrast, the total percentage of Stern grads entering these two fields was just 1%.
Consulting, the number two choice of Stern’s Class of 2015, picked up 29% of the class, a mere one percentage point higher than 2014. One in ten (10%) of the grads accepted positions in consumer product companies, down two percentage points from 8% a year earlier, while 9% went into technology and telecom, up from 6% in 2014. Some 4% of the class took jobs in the retail industry, unchanged from 2014, while 5% went into the entertainment and media sector, down from 6% a year earlier.
Just 2% of the class entered government and non-profit jobs, exactly the same as 2014, while another 2% took jobs in real estate, versus 1% a year earlier, when the highest starting salary in the class of $200,000 was handed to an MBA who went into that industry. The energy field also got 1% of Stern’s Class of 2015.
MOST STERN GRADS STAY IN THE NORTHEAST
Despite the relatively sparse percentage of Stern MBAs going into tech, especially compared to peer institutions, a record 13% of the class reported taking jobs in the West, up from 10% a year earlier and just 4% in 2012. Some 93% of the class landed jobs in North America overall, with 79% of them, not surprisingly, in the Northeast which is why the pay totals for Stern are slightly higher than Chicago or Northwestern.
Otherwise, Stern grads don’t stray too far from home. The midwest, south and southwest regions of the U.S. each attracted just 1% of the class, while the Mid-Atlantic states attracted 3% of the class that stated in North America. Some 3% of the class took jobs in Asia, 2% in Europe, and 1% each in the Middle East and North Africa as well as South America.
(See following page for how NYU Stern MBAs in 2015 compare with peer schools)