Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61
MIT Sloan | Mr. Tech Enthusiast
GRE 325, GPA 6.61/10

How Much Is Your MBA Worth? Tracking Pay By School & Function



What industry pays graduating MBAs the most money?

The answer depends on which school stamped your degree and which companies recruit at your school. Conventional wisdom would likely steer many students toward Wall Street and finance. But that again depends on the school, the employing company, and even the specific job you are hired to do.

At Harvard Business School, for example, the average starting pay for 2015 graduates in finance was $146,993. That’s $17,048 more than HBS graduates who entered consulting. And the gap is $23,000-$29,000 more, on average, compared to MBAs hired into marketing, operations, and general management.

Look beyond Harvard and you’ll see an entirely different picture. Among the ten highest-ranked MBA programs, consulting graduates earned more than their finance counterparts at eight of ten schools. In fact, consultants raked in higher average starting pay than financiers at every Top 25 school except Harvard and Stanford.

But even that comes with a caveat. In terms of the highest individual pay packages, finance grads topped their peers at six of ten MBA programs in the Top 10, losing out at MIT (operations), Yale (general management), Dartmouth (consulting), and Columbia (marketing).  Broaden this to the Top 25 schools and finance grads came away with the highest individual checks at 12 schools, too.


Indeed, you could argue that pay acts as a de facto school ranking in particular disciplines. It pegs the value that the consumers of MBA talent – employers – place on particular school graduates. Beyond perception, pay can reflect the depth and quality of school roots (i.e. network) in specific industries (and their largest employers).

In a world where knowledge is power, these numbers level the playing field – and even give MBAs a slight advantage. Why? They reflect an MBA’s value. That’s why Poets&Quants we’ve reviewed starting pay for 2015 graduates in six core MBA functions: marketing, operations, general management, finance, consulting, and non-profits. Rather than consulting 50 separate employment reports, readers can quickly learn what employers are paying their peers in particular occupations by school.

Beyond the convenience of having this info in one spot, this data provides readers with something more: An idea of how much more money they can angle for in pay (and the ability to justify why).


There are certain limitations, however, to these numbers. Although overall starting pay factors in bonus, the occupation data is predicated strictly on base salary. That’s because bonus isn’t attached to every offer – and many schools don’t report bonus numbers by function. As a result, first-year earnings, when bonuses are added, can jump anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. On average, you’ll find bonus coming in above $25,000 at Top 25 schools (including $31,045 at Wharton, $29,634 at Darden, $28,447 at Kellogg, and $25,866 at Rice Jones). For programs ranked 26-50, average bonus generally comes in above $15,000 (including $20,950 at BYU Marriott, $20,795 at Iowa Tippie, $16,423 at Florida Hough, and $15,197 at Boston College Carroll).

The data also doesn’t include such benefits as tuition reimbursements, moving allowances, other guaranteed bonuses, or stock options. And the averages across functions can be impacted by the number of graduates reporting this data back to their schools. For example, UCLA’s marketing and finance starting pay is based on responses from 73 and 66 graduates, respectively, while its operations salary numbers stem from just 10 responses.

That said, you’ll be hard pressed to find better data for determining just how much your MBA is worth in  a given function. Not to mention, it is a convenient way to compare schools side-by-side based on potential starting earnings. To check out data on the high, low, and average salaries for the 50 highest-ranked MBA programs in the most popular industries, click on the links below.