‘THERE ARE A LOT OF COMPANIES THAT ARE PAYING IN STOCK & OPTIONS’
Asked why median salaries have stalled, Assistant Dean of Career Management Abby Scott has a ready answer: stock grants given to MBAs who particularly enter the technology, transportation, and energy industries, three sectors that accounted for more than 37% of this year’s hires. “It appears like our students take a hit on salary when stock options tend to be a significant factor in many of their total compensation packages,” she says. “There are a lot of companies that are paying in stock grants and options. Our compensation isn’t as heavily weighted in salaries and bonuses as they are at other schools so we don’t see all of our compensation in these numbers. It’s fair to assume that nearly every technology company and every transportation and logistics company offer includes stock.”
In fact, a remarkable 41% of this year’s class at Haas reported receiving stock options as part of their overall compensation.
It doesn’t help that Haas’ spare employment reports fail to put the school’s best foot forward. Unlike all its peer schools, Haas doesn’t disclose the percentage of students who have and/or accepted job offers at graduation or three months later. It doesn’t tell you how many graduates did startups or how many students were sponsored. The school also fails to report the percentage of its graduating class that returned its employment surveys or how many of its students found jobs through Haas career center.
When Poets&Quants asked for this information, the school promptly provided it. But applicants won’t see any of this information in Haas one-page report on the school’s website. The school told Poets&Quants that 83.2% of its MBA graduates had at least one job offer by graduation, with 75.5% of the class accepting those offers. There months later, 94.4% of the MBAs had job offers and 93.4% of those offers were accepted. Haas added that 196 of this year’s graduating class of 243 students were seeking jobs. Some 14 members of the class stared their own companies, while 28 were sponsored and returned to their previous employer. The 2018 employment report is based on 240 students.
AMAZON WAS HAAS’ TOP EMPLOYER FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
Why doesn’t Haas publish more detailed reports? “We are still a pretty small class,” explains Scott. “As we get bigger, we will be able to slice the data in a way that will make it more meaningful. The second reason is that our evening and weekend students are also pretty active in their participation of recruiting. And the way the standards are set up, it’s for only full-time students. That is changing but we have significant numbers of people who we want to include and we will. Again, it’s just another reason to keep it simple.”
Amazon was the top employer at Haas for the second year in a row, hiring 14 graduates. McKinsey & Co. was next, making ten new hires but also bringing back to the consulting firm another half dozen sponsored employees from the Haas MBA program. Google, BCG, Bain and Tesla each hired seven Haas MBAs this year. The rest of the top employers (hiring three or more students) were Adobe, Deloitte, Parthenon EY, IDEO, KraftHeinz, PwC, and The Clorox Co. Dropping off this year’s list was Genentech, Microsoft and VMware, all of which made the list in 2017.
Scott says that 14% of the students this year went to work in startups, up from 11% a year earlier. Meantime, roughly 6% of the graduating students, 14 in all, launched their own companies or organizations. That is up from 5% of last year’s graduating class.
TECH INDUSTRY REMAINS MOST POPULAR AT HAAS BUT TAKES FEWER GRADUATES
While technology remains the most popular industry at Haas, the school’s employment reports shows that fewer students are entering the field. Some 31.7% of this year’s class accepted jobs with tech firms, down from 36.9% a year ago and well off the peak in 2014 when 43.4% of Haas’ graduates went into the tech industry. But the year-over-year comparisons are not necessarily apples-to-apples. Scott notes that you could just as easily count some companies in transportation, such as Uber and Lyft, as tech firms. “Last year,” adds Scott, “we didn’t have enough students going into transportation and logistics or manufacturing to call it out. Some of those previous data points could have been rolled up into tech.”
One standout area for Haas is clearly tech pay, even without accounting for equity. At Haas, students entering the tech industry this year were paid median base salaries of $130,000, with average sign-on bonuses of $35,337, a package that matches the offers in consulting. “We do have significant numbers of students who go into the big tech companies that pay well like Amazon and Google,” adds Scott. “They tend to have comp structures that are pretty decent.”
Consulting was also down, taking 24.0% of the MBAs, compared to 26.2% last year. Oddly, median starting salaries in consulting slipped to $137,500 from $140,000 a year earlier. Scott attributes the difference to the likelihood that a few more students were recruited to overseas offices where starting pay is not as high as it is in the U.S.
“Some of the consulting firms are aggressively recruiting for emerging markets so it could be reflected in those stats,” she explains. “It’s probably just a handful of students that could swing it.” Students taking roles internationally tend to have lower comp and more students accepted consulting roles internationally this year. Also, Scott noted that it had more students joining design consulting firms such as IDEO and Jump Associates, whose salaries tend to be lower than strategy consulting.
MORE MBAS TOOK JOBS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES, CPG, RETAIL & NONPROFIT SECTORS
Graduates taking jobs in the healthcare and biotech industries also fell to just 4.4% of this year’s class from 8% in 2017. Real estate was yet another industry with less of a draw this year as 2.2% of the students went into that industry, down from 3.7% last year.
Taking up the slack from those declines were financial services, consumer packaged goods and retail, and the nonprofit sector. Haas MBAs who went into the financial sector rose to 13.7% from 11.8% a year earlier, while CPG claimed 8.2% of the class, up from 7.5%, and the nonprofit and public sector attracted 4.4% of the students, up from just 2.1% in 2017.
Haas reported that 3.8% of the class went into manufacturing; 3.3% into transportation and logistics; 2.2% into the energy industry, and 1.6% into media and entertainment. A year ago, all four of those industries attracted so few students that Haas did not break them out.