Ross Right Behind Big Two In MBA Pay

Ross School of Business

Ross School of Business

Who would ever expect that graduating MBAs from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business would land jobs that pay more than this year’s crop of MBAs from such schools as the University of Chicago, Columbia Business School, and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business?

Well, think again. Ross’ Class of 2016 have simply nailed it in today’s robust MBA job market. Median total compensation for Ross MBAs hit record $150,606 this year, more than any other business school with the exception of Stanford ($179,346) and Harvard ($163,827). Ross’ reported numbers are even higher than Wharton ($148,892 this year. Some schools, including Dartmouth Tuck and MIT Sloan, have yet to release their 2016 MBA employment reports. Still, those are highly impressive numbers from Ross.

The school said that median base salaries were $120,000, up from $117,750 a year ago, with median sign-on bonuses of $25,000, received by an extraordinary 91.5% of the class, and other median guaranteed compensation of $15,000, landed by an also impressive 51.5%. Add it all up, adjusting for the percentage of grads getting bonuses, and the total comes to $150,606, slightly better than last year’s all-time high of $149,960. The average total pay was even better: $156,145.


No less impressive, 93.5% of this year’s graduating class had job offers at graduation, up from 92.4% a year earlier, and 98.4% of the class reported job offers three months later, up from 97.4% last year. The ever-higher job offer rates made Ross graduates a bit more selective this year, with 85.6% accepting their offers at graduation, down from 86.3% last year. Acceptances three months later was 91.8%, down a tiny bit from 92.1% in 2015.

This year’s highest paid MBA accepted a $175,000 annual base salary from a financial services firm based in the Detroit metro area. The highest median sign-on bonuses — $47,500 — were also paid in financial services. The lowest reported salary of $48,106 went to a graduate who took a job in the consulting industry where the median base salary was $144,000.

Amazon again topped the school’s list of major MBA employers, hiring 31 graduates this year, down from last year’s 34 hires. Still, this is the third consecutive year that Amazon has been the school’s single biggest MBA recruiter, displacing Deloitte in 2014. PwC and Microsoft doubled their Ross MBA hires this year, respectively, bringing on 24 from 12 and 14 from seven.

This year’s other big employers are a cross section of some of the most powerful corporate brands in the world, including McKinsey (16), Boston Consulting Group (14), Deloitte (14), Accenture Strategy (12), Citi (9), Bain (8), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (7), A.T. Kearney (7), PepsiCo (6), Google (5), JP Morgan Chase (5), and Dell (5) (see table on following pages).


The consulting and tech industries also gained ground at Ross this year. Some 32.2% of the class went into consulting, up from 30.9% last year, while a record 20.4% headed into the technology industry, up slightly from the previous record set in 2015 when 19.6% of Ross MBAs accepted jobs at tech companies.

Some 13.6% of the grads went to work for financial service companies, down from 15.0%, while 9.8% took jobs in consumer packaged goods concerns, down from 11.0% last year. Manufacturing was also down, with 5.6% of grads going into that field, compared to 6.3% a year earlier.

The declines were offset by healthcare and energy. Some 6.8% of the grads ventured into the healthcare industry in 2016, up from 5.2%, while 4.1% accepted positions in the energy industry, up from 3.8% last year. Ross said that 1.5% of this year’s class went into the education/government/non-profit sectors and 1.2% took jobs with transportation companies.

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