Where The Healthcare Industry Gets Its MBAs

Andy Alderman of Cardinal Health speaks to Health Sector Management Bootcamp orientation at Fuqua School of Business join 2015. In a poll of 32 elite programs, Fuqua graduated the third-most number of healthcare-bound MBAs in 2016. Courtesy photo


Median base salaries for newly hired healthcare MBAs top out at $125,000, a plateau achieved by three schools: Wharton, Harvard, and Stanford. All three also report median sign-on bonuses of $20,000. The highest reported median bonus came from UCLA Anderson School of Management, at $30,000; Duke reported a median bonus of $27,500, and both Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business reported mean bonuses of more than $25,000.

In terms of salary, after the big three came some usual suspects. One school, Haas, reported a median base salary of $123,500, while three schools reported median base salaries of $120,000: Columbia Business School, Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business, and MIT Sloan School of Management.

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management reported a median base salary of $118,498. Most schools were in the $100,000-to-$110,000 range in median or mean base salaries. Vanderbilt’s Owen School saw its healthcare MBAs achieve among the lowest median salaries in the field, at $105,000, which is probably another indicator of the market in “small-town” Nashville. The lowest reported base salary at a U.S. B-school was at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, a mean of $92,171.


Europe, of course, has an altogether different healthcare landscape than the U.S. That may explain why none of the five schools P&Q examined saw more than 5% of their 2016 MBAs go into that industry — and why those who did made less than almost all of their U.S.-graduated counterparts.

Two Madrid, Spain-based schools, IE Business School and IESE, paced the European schools at 5%, but both had quite low salaries, even in comparison with their continental counterparts: a median of US$76,128 at IESE, with a median sign-on bonus of US$29,150, and a mean of US$70,128 at IE (no reported median or mean bonus). Compare that to the median salary at INSEAD (US$94,600) or the mean at London Business School (US$99,477).

It also seems that healthcare as a path for MBAs is not exactly catching on in Europe. IESE’s 5% is down from 6.2% in 2015, HEC Paris’ 2% is down from 4% last year, and IE’s 5% is down from 4%. Base salaries at the Spanish schools fell by small amounts, too.


  • TJ S

    Where does it say that HBS, Wharton, and Fuqua are Owen’s peers?

    What is says that an HBS MBA hired by McKesson is a peer to an Owen MBA hired by McKesson. They have the same degree, the same job, and the same salary (the “class offer” given by companies).

  • Doesn’t Make Any Sense

    How can you call HBS, Wharton and Fuqua as Owen’s peers?

  • Some context

    To any readers looking at salary comparison between the programs, I’d caution against drawing too quick of a conclusion. Part of why Owen salaries are lower is because of the high number of students going down the hospital administration path, which results in lower salaries in small markets. The traditional offers from biotech (Genentech), distribution (McKesson), or dialysis (DaVita) are class offers, so the salary is exactly the same as peers from HBS, Wharton, or Fuqua.