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Harvard | Mr. MBB Aspirant
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Salaries Up At Ross, But Job Offers Slip

The 2017 Ross commencement ceremony. That MBA class earned a record-high median salary of $123,000. Ross photo


In what industry are Ross MBAs getting jobs? Increasingly, in tech, which continues to gain on consulting as the top destination. Overall, 30.1% of Ross MBAs went into consulting, down from 32.1% in 2017, while 27.1% went into technology, up from 23.6%. Up, too, is financial services, which had been the destination of only 11% of the Class of 2017; this year, 15.7% of Ross grads took jobs in the sector.

Healthcare saw a slight dip, from 6.9% to 6.6%, while manufacturing grew from 6.6% to 7.5%. Consumer packaged goods continued its two-year slide, shrinking from 9.8% in 2016 to 8.8% last year and even further, to 6.3%, in the latest report.

The growth in the importance of tech at Ross has been signaling a shift in where the school’s MBAs end up. While most grads continue to stay in the Midwest (33.7%, down from 34.6% in 2017) — in particular the Chicago area (21.7%) — the second-largest percentage heads for the West Coast (28.9%). “A lot of it is that the tech industry is booming and that tends to pull the students to the West Coast, and maybe weather,” Byrne told P&Q last year when the tech trend was even more pronounced. “That is really exciting for us. It speaks great volumes to our students, our alumni network and the partnership we have with recruiters.” The number of Ross grads heading west is down from a year ago (32.1%), however, with fewer settling in the San Francisco Bay Area (9.9%, down from 10.4%) and the Seattle metro area (15.4%, down from 17.6%).

Instead, more Ross MBAs are headed to the Northeast (16.6%, up from 15.4%), in particular the Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (12%). More headed south, too: 4.8%, up from 3.1% in 2017. And the percentage of Ross grads leaving the States for employment abroad grew from 7.5% to 9%.

When it comes to internships, tech is king at Ross. As Byrne notes, “24.7% of the class of 2019 did an internship in tech, which could be a foreshadowing of increased numbers of full-time jobs in tech upon graduation.”


Source: Michigan Ross


“About one-third of the class went into consulting,” Byrne notes, “and placement into the technology and financial services industries increased. In fact, Ross has one of the highest tech industry placements among the top 10 MBA programs. The increase in median salary is likely due to an increase in these industries.

“Tech continues to be very popular with this generation, and we see it gaining on consulting. Students like the ability to own something with tech (e.g. a product), and they are inspired by the familiarity of tech — it’s how they grew up. I do think there will always be a healthy appetite in the market for MBAs to do consulting. Consulting can be a great way for MBAs to start their career, given the broad exposure to different companies, industries, and working to solve a variety of complex and ambiguous problems.”

And the rise, albeit slight, in finance-bound Ross grads? “I can’t point to anything specific for the Class of 2018 except that they had a strong interest in finance, and like other students, they leveraged our Career Development Office support, CDO peer coaches, and CDO functional accountability career teams to be successful,” Byrne says.


As might be expected, top employers of Michigan Ross grads tend to be consulting firms, with one big exception. For the fifth year in a row, Amazon led all recruiters of Michigan MBAs, hiring 44 of them (up from 38 last year) — but most of the rest of the list of top employers reads like a who’s-who of the globe’s top consulting firms. McKinsey was second at 17 hires, down from 28 last year; and PwC hired 14. EY (12) and Boston Consulting Group (11) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

“We continue to see a great presence on the West Coast, which can be contributed to the tech companies that hire our students. About a third of the class goes west and another third goes to the Midwest, mainly the Chicago area. About 17% of the class goes to the Northeast, with the largest portion of that group heading to the New York City/Tri-State Area.”

Looking to the future, Byrne sees no let-up in the popularity of consulting, even as tech’s relevance to Ross grads continues.

“Consulting has always been a strong area of interest among our graduates and I would expect to see similar career outcomes in the future,” she says. “Tech is also a very relevant industry for our students today, and I foresee it continuing to drive interest.”


Source: Michigan Ross