How INSEAD Grads Are Faring With Jobs & Pay

The Financial Times ranks INSEAD’s full-time program first for two straight years

There was a time when consulting firms didn’t scoop up the majority of INSEAD graduates. Only four years ago, one in three MBA grads at INSEAD went into consulting. Now consulting firms are recruiting and hiring INSEAD grads in heaps. According to INSEAD’s most recent jobs report, nearly half (49%) of 2017 graduates went into consulting — three percentage points higher than last year’s record-setting year.

Leading the hiring again this year was McKinsey & Company, which hired 130 INSEAD graduates, up from 125 last year. However, the uptick in consulting was buoyed by Bain & Company, which hired 38 more INSEAD grads than it did last year, bringing aboard 86 grads in total. The Boston Consulting Group finished off the consulting trifecta, hiring 71 INSEAD grads — up four grads from last year. All told, the three consulting giants wooed about a third of the graduating class that reported job stats. Amazon broke up the consulting party, hiring 56 INSEAD grads, a massive leap from the 21 hires it made from INSEAD from last year. Accenture rounded out the top five hiring companies, snagging 36 recent grads, also a big increase from the 16 hired from the Class of 2016.

Of course, consulting firms love INSEAD and often sponsor many of these hires who return to their firms. The school’s accelerated 10-month MBA program makes it more likely that McKinsey or Bain won’t lose a former employee. Out of the 130 McKinsey hires, for example, 52 are returning McKinsey staffers. For Bain, 21 out of the 86 hires were working at Bain before going for their INSEAD MBA. Twenty-six of the 71 BCG hires returned. Meanwhile, all but 1 of Amazon’s 56 hires were new hires.

Normally a lucrative choice for MBAs, the increase in percentage of MBAs going into consulting only raised INSEAD’s median salary slightly. This year, MBAs reported a median salary of $103,100 when converted to U.S. dollars, which is a bit higher than last year’s $102,500. Some 67% of the class reported median signing bonuses of $25,000 and three-quarters reported a $22,200 median performance bonus. Taking into account the percentages, the median total compensation package is $136,500 — again, an uptick from last year’s median total compensation of $134,268. Some 90% of the class had at least one offer three months after graduation, the exact same job offer rate of a year earlier.

According to the published report, grads went to work in 64 different countries around the globe. In terms of regions, MBAs had the highest median salary in Africa and the Middle East, where MBAs earned a median of $130,000, and where 10% of the class went to work. Median total compensation for the region was $161,825, assuming 67% received the region’s median signing bonus of $25,000 and 75% received the median performance bonus of $20,100. Most MBAs (38%) went to work in Western Europe, which had a median total compensation of $136,410, again assuming 67% had signing bonuses of $25,500 and 75% took performance bonuses of $20,300. In Asia Pacific — the second most popular region for INSEAD grads at 26% — total median compensation was $134,309. For the 9% of graduates that ended up in North America, the median total compensation was $160,900.

While certainly not a direct comparison considering the amount of currency calculations involved, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business reported a median total compensation package of $180,284 for its Class of 2017, fueled largely by the number of MBAs taking jobs in venture capital and private equity. Some 15% of Stanford GSB’s class entered private equity and 7% went into venture capital. At Harvard Business School, the Class of 2017 reported making $174,600 for a median total pay package. New York University’s Stern School of Business reported $154,147 for total median pay. INSEAD’s overall median of $134,268 is close to Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business’s median of $134,113, which was 13th out of 16 schools we reported on in December of last year. Of those 16 schools, all had higher percentages of graduates reporting at least one offer within three months of graduation, than INSEAD’s 90% reported this year. Schools like Chicago Booth, Wharton, and Michigan Ross all posted marks of 97%, for example.

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