WEST BECOMES TOP LOCATION FOR FUQUA MBAS
“This was the first year the West Coast exceeded the Northeast in location,” says Dirks. “A couple of years ago it was almost an exact tie between the West Coast and the Northeast. This time the West exceeded the Northeast by four percentage points. More of the students in consulting are increasingly going into diverse locations. The West Coast surge is a combination of the increased tech hiring and consulting placements out on the West Coast.
The consulting industry hired 32% of the class this year, down just a percent from 33% in 2017, with median salaries of $140,000. Six of the top ten employers were consulting firms, including McKinsey (17), Deloitte (13), Accenture (12), Bain (9), BCG (9), and PwC (8).
The 28% of students who headed into the tech sector landed median salaries of $130,000. Finance was chosen by 16% of the class, a four percentage point fall from a year earlier, with median salaries of $125,000. Healthcare claimed 9% of the Class of 2018, with median starting salaries of $123,650.
‘IT’S A BUSY MARKET RIGHT NOW’
“Healthcare continues to be strong,” adds Dirks. “The health marketplace is so increasingly diverse with health IT. Our studnets remain interested in the sectors of the health space. A hallmark of the Duke report is the diversity of the employers.”
Some 5% of the class took jobs in the consumer goods sector, with median salaries of $107,500.
Dirks say the earliest signs for internship hiring and next year’s MBA job market looks strong. “It’s a busy market right now, though it’s still a little early to tell,” she says. “There are any number of companies hosting events, coffee chats and dinners as warm-ups for the interviewing season. Generally speaking, the upward trend is likely to flatten or soften some time. We just don’t know when that is going to happen. So far this year, it looks strong. Companies are increasingly looking at their internship programs as feeders to their full-time hiring. So it takes on a different level of importance. the internship is really where we have the best test if someone is going to be a good fit. So you’re increasing seeing it in a broad array of companies, beyond consulting and finance.”