Duke MBA Grads Enjoy Impressive Pay Hike

The six largest employers of Fuqua MBAs over the past five years


Pay was also influenced by student backgrounds. North American graduates grossed the highest median bases at $124,908. European Union graduates placed second with $115,551 followed by Asia at $109,115. Among North Americans, Mid-Atlantic employers landed the highest median bases at $130,000, followed by the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest each at $120,000.

Alas, a Fuqua education turns into the great equalizer when it comes to educational backgrounds and work experiences. Take the former, where 2017 grads who earned “Technical,” “Business,” or “Other” undergraduate degrees each reaped $125,000 in median base pay. In other words, the proverbial poets and quants are on par with each other after completing two years of graduate business studies. That $125,000 median also applies regardless of the number of years of prior work experience too, further confirmation of how quickly student business aptitudes coalesce as MBAs.

For the ninth consecutive year, consulting reigned as the largest consumer of Fuqua talent. This year, 33% of the class entered the field, matching the 2012 Class’ high water mark. Not surprisingly, consulting firms accounted for four of the five largest employers of the 2017. Deloitte led the parade by landing 26 members of Team Fuqua, followed by McKinsey (21), BCG (14), and Accenture (12). Despite Fuqua graduates’ pay spike in 2017, consulting firms continued to dole out the same $140,000 bases as the year before – with mean pay actually declining by $1,500. Looking at the top end, the highest-paid consulting recruit made $170,000 in base, with Fuqua declining to furnish bonus averages by industry in 2017.

Finance rounded up the second-largest bloc of Fuqua graduates at 20%, as Bank of America led the way with seven recruits. Median salaries held steady at $125,000, though the mean improved by nearly $4,000. Even more, a finance grad snagged the highest base at $200,000 – though $20,000 less than highs posted by graduates from the consulting and tech sectors in 2016. While the percentage of Fuqua consulting grads have climbed by 8% over the past decade, the number has fallen by 13% in its financial sector in the aftermath of the 2008 economic collapse.

This shortfall, however, has been made up by the tech industry, whose share of Fuqua graduating classes has jumped from 9% to 19% since 2008. Amazon wooed 15 class members in 2017, though Microsoft (11), Apple (6), Cisco (6), and Google (5) have also been quite active in Durham. 12% of the class also entered healthcare, up four points over the past decade, with DaVita Healthcare and Cardinal Health each securing five members of the class. In fact, median base pay rose by $7,000 in the past year in the health sector. In contrast, the number of Fuqua graduates entering consumer goods has plummeted from 13% to 5% over the past five classes (though median pay did inch up by $2,000 in 2017).

Still, you won’t find a bigger proponent of Fuqua than Deloitte. Since 2012, the firm has hired 160 graduates, easily outpacing McKinsey (94), Microsoft (79), BCG (77), and Amazon (63) as the top recruiters on campus. Over that time, Amazon has quadrupled its recruits. Not every indicator was so positive. Exhibit A: PwC, which hired 37 Fuqua grads from 2014-2016, added just two from the 2017 class. IBM and Citi also curbed hiring at Fuqua this year as well.

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