MBA Pay & Bonus Up 8% At USC

Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California

That didn’t take long.

Mark Brostoff, who for seven years ran the career center at Washington University’s Olin School of Business, joined the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business in January of this year. In the ten months, he’s been in the job as assistant dean and director of MBA career services at Marshall, he can proudly point to a fast turnaround.

Marshall’s 2016 employment report, based on data from 95% of the 213 graduates in the Class of 2016, is a vast improvement on the year-earlier results. This year, 92% of the graduating MBAs boasted job offers three months after graduation, up from 81% a year earlier. Some 75% of the students had job offers at commencement, up from 61% in 2015.

What’s more, median starting pay and sign-on bonuses rose to a median $125,099, a 7.7% increase over last year’s $116,188. Median starting salaries rose $10,000 in a single year to $115,000 this year, up from $105,000 in 2015. Median sign-on bonuses, given to 48% of the MBA graduates this year, remained stable at $20,000.


Mark Brostoff, assistant dean and director of MBA career services at USC's Marshall School of Business

Mark Brostoff, assistant dean and director of MBA career services at USC’s Marshall School of Business

The overall improvement in Marshall’s numbers come as a significantly higher percentage of students landed jobs with consulting firms. This year, 31.0% accepted jobs in consulting, which offered the highest median salaries–$135,000–of any industry at Marshall, up from 22.0% last year. Media and entertainment as well as real estate also claimed higher numbers of Marshall MBAs.

Some 13.0% of the Class of 2016 went into media and entertainment jobs, up significantly from the previous year when the percentage was so low it remained unreported. Real estate jobs were taken by 7.0% of the class, a nearly doubling of the 4.0% level in 2015 (see table on following page).

One surprise: The percentage of students taking jobs with tech firms fell to 11% this year, from 17% a year earlier. Marshall MBAs headed into financial services also declined to 13.0% this year from 20.0% in 2015, a possible aberration because in 2013 Marshall sent only 12.1% of its MBA graduates into financial services.

The school said its highest reported starting salary was $166,400 for a job in a category described as “other” in energy, environmental services, government, law and retail. The lowest reported salary–$60,000–went to an MBA who took a job at a tech firm.However, the school did not report high and low offers for students who took jobs in the non-profit sector.

The school reported that 38% of the offers came from on-campus recruiting efforts, while 21% were landed as a result of internships. About 17% of the students found jobs through their personal network of family and friends, while other student-initiated search was the source for 7% of the job offers.

  • NotTop15ButTop25

    USC is not within the top 15, but it is definitely in the top 25 as per current rankings, and it used to be top 20 not too far behind UCLA before it went down in all the rankings. Now of course, there is a significant difference and UCLA is better. However, Keep in mind that there is significant time lag between the perception of the industry and actual rankings. So most recruiters do consider USC a top 20 school, no one really relies on rankings heavily except current and prospective students.
    I guess it depends on your personal goals at the end of the day. I think the school won’t help someone looking to work on the East Coast, or international students, who may prefer a school with a stronger nationwide reputation. Within Los Angeles however, no one really thinks very differently between Anderson and Marshall. I am a student of neither, just some one who has grown up and worked in LA. Several of my coworkers are from these 2 schools, and it appears to have no significant advantage being in one over the other.

  • Nidjd Nufh

    USC is outside the top 30, not close to top 15.


    great work by USC team. This school is really underrated.

  • quest

    Despite ranking differences, USC Marshall is neck to neck with UCLA Anderson. Every recruiter I’ve talked to (In consulting and Banking) see the two schools equal and comparable in quality education and students. USC has the trojan network that matters a lot for many future applicants.

  • uXxlima

    sorry disagree.

  • uXxlima

    I respectfully discharge. at best the two programs are pretty much same in almost every aspect. this results from the career office shows it clearly that they are equal and peers and employers treat them equally.

  • Duy N Pham

    I am an USC MBA Alumni and I have to admit that UCLA program is much stronger than ours for many years. Actually , I don’t really care which one is better, but I hate the dumb fanboys between 2 schools always saying something bs to each other.

  • Ronaldo

    only troll can identity a troll.

  • janice

    “University of Southern California” Marshall School of Business is the best business school in southern california. Rankings are subjectives and they don’t give the real picture. Business people know that USC Marshall is better than UCLA.

  • HA

    Are you the same troll from above?

  • smh


  • LOL

    No. It isn’t. You must be thinking UCLA.

  • s

    So % of students entering consulting is the definition of a “good” vs “not so good” school?

  • janice

    USC Marshall already top 15. You have no clue what you are talking about. .

  • MBALover

    Well, since entertainment doesn’t pay that well, and a strong network only leads to a higher percentage of jobs overall (not necessarily higher pay), your assessment is moot. For Marshall, this is an impressive turnaround. They’ll be top 20 in no time, I’d think.

  • uher

    USC enjoys the location and strong connection with entertainment industry and technology. It should have performed better.

  • permanda

    Strong performance from USC MARSHALL. Hard times for UCLA Anderson. .

  • MBA-Watch

    So, USC Marshall places third of its +200 class to consulting with $135k base, this is better than Yale, NYU, Michigan Ross, and UCLA. Obviously, Marshall is really underrated. It is a solid top 15 school.