Tech Firms Get Their MBA Talent From These Schools

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University sent more than a third of its 2016 MBAs into tech — including 45% of its graduating women. Courtesy photo

We know where Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, along with Adobe Systems, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, IBM, Intel, LinkedIn, and a host of early-stage companies are finding their MBAs. But what are they paying? Where should you go if you want to make top dollar in the tech sector?

A raft of schools (five, to be exact) pay a median base salary of $120,000; a few (three) pay a bit more at $125,000; and one leads the pack with a median base salary of $130,000. The leader: Stanford. But there’s a twist. Counting median sign-on bonuses, Stanford, at $15,000, doesn’t come out on top in terms of total compensation. That honor goes to two schools: Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, both of which boast a median base pay of $125,000 and a median bonus of $30,000. Columbia is a close third with a salary mark of $120,000 and a bonus of $33,840.

The other school that can boast of a $125,000 median base salary for tech workers: Haas, which only reports a mean (not median) bonus of $25,555.


The five European schools all have double-digit employment in the tech sector for their 2016 MBAs. Leading the way is London Business School’s 21%, up a tick from 20% last year, followed by INSEAD (19%, down 2 points), HEC Paris (17%, down 2 points), IESE (16%), and IE (10%). An MBA from INSEAD yields the highest base salary, US$99,500, with a median sign-on of US$21,100. Next is LBS, which reported a mean base salary of $93,408; and IESE, at median US$74,500 (and a median bonus of US$22,202).

LBS, meanwhile, may be interested in going the extra mile to attract new students. Anticipating a possible “student brain drain” in the wake of Brexit, the UK’s referendum to leave the European Union, experts expect full-time MBA tuition at England’s top B-school to fall somewhat from the current $93,000. They also look at the school’s opening of the new Sammy Ofer Centre, which increases LBS’ classroom space by 70%, and sense a move in the offing to appeal to more U.S. students in the growing fields of tech and entrepreneurship/innovation.


  • Mark G. O’Brien

    The Swiss take their time on surveys, sadly.

  • DataGuru

    Number of students placed matters not %

  • Warren+Radish+RankingExpert

    we are waiting for IMD 2016 report, most likely to be released in 2019 !

  • radish

    Great.. many thanks.. I know no other school can get the love of Tuck : , but at least there is some love! So, could you please tell your soldiers to put the salaries for IE ? they are on the school employment report. and what do you think of the report? I believe it is quite good for a latin american oriented business school, given current conditions..

  • C. Taylor

    That’s the section which doesn’t include finance and consulting. Cambridge is at 20% if you put tech with internet/e-commerce and add telecoms (10+7+3). Bocconi is at 26% in tech and Oxford is at, 23%. All the top international programs place pretty well in tech.

  • hrmm

    The 12% for Cornell is pretty misleading – if you count the Cornell Tech MBA grads the % would surely be higher, no?

  • radish

    good. Now IE should be placed between Kellogg and Mendoza college ! I see it in its old place 🙂 I wish this cute school get some love from you guys, specially John, he should try loving spanish thing once at least 🙂

  • Marc Ethier

    It’s been fixed! Thanks for the heads-up!

  • No wonder!

  • Dan

    According to their latest report, Cambridge sends 20% to tech and another 16% to Internet/E-commerce, so 36% in total…

  • radish

    the 10% is for the class background before the MBA. !!

  • JohnAByrne

    This report is not meant to cover every single school but is a glimpse of the ups and downs of industry recruiting at a large enough subset of MBA programs to give you a sense of how it’s going.

  • JohnAByrne

    I see the issue here. When IE broke out its industry sectors by charts, the school reported that only 10% of the latest graduating class went into the technology and telecom sector. In every other section of the report, the school reports a 25% number and in the narrative portion of the report indicates that this is the first time ever tech has been IE’s number one industry employer. Clearly, the 10% number in the report is a mistake but that is how we reported that number.

  • Olin business school

    What about Washington University in St Louis? They have been consistently sending over 15% in Tech.

  • radish

    look at page 9: w w w . ie . edu / business – school / degrees / international – mba / wp –
    content / uploads / Careers _ Report – IMBA _ 2016 . pdf

  • Marc Ethier

    Thanks! You may be right … Do you have a link for the report where I can find that number?

  • radish

    on IE employment report, they say they sent 25% to the technology sector! how come here is 10%?