The Highest-Paying MBA Concentrations
For many, an MBA is seen as a ticket to better pay, bigger title, and a meaningful career.
But which fields yield the highest pay?
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently identified which concentrations often lead to the most lucrative fields.
CONSULTING LEADS IN PAY
US News analyzed statistics submitted for its 2020 Best Business Schools rankings, which include 131 ranked MBA programs.
Amongst MBAs, consulting showed the highest average base salary for MBA grads in 2018 with an average salary of $101,108.
General Management jobs also yielded high pay with an average base salary of $92,802.
WHY IS CONSULTING SO POPULAR?
Consulting continues to be one of the most popular fields for MBAs.
INSEAD, for example, sent a whopping 287 MBAs to the Big Three firms, McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and Boston Consulting Group, in 2017. That’s roughly a third of its graduating class.
On top of the competitive pay that consulting yields, the field can also offer a number of other benefits, experts say.
“For many people, consulting truly is the best choice for their first job post-MBA,” Angela Guido, founder of Career Protocol, tells P&Q. “Think about it: a lot of people want an MBA in the first place to open more doors and expand their horizons. Consulting continues to do that by exposing you to a variety of industries and functions without – in the case of most firms – forcing you to specialize immediately. It gives you the chance to apply what the MBA taught you, continue developing at a rapid rate (consulting has a very steep learning curve), while still opening new doors and better positioning you for other jobs.”
HOW TO GET INTO CONSULTING
It’s important to note that while consulting is a very popular field for MBAs, it is one of the more difficult fields to enter.
Experts recommend that applicants interested in consulting should aim for b-schools that have a track record of sending grads into consulting firms.
“They should decide on the companies they would like to join and visit websites of those companies to see where the executive leadership has studied,” Sukhjot Basi, the CEO of BankYogi.com, a startup company that helps consumers discover if they qualify for free insurance, tells US News.
Alice Van Harten, owner of MBA admissions consultancy Menlo Coaching and a former Bain consultant, says it’s important to also know about the difficulties and hardships that come with consulting.
“As a former Bain consultant, I can assure you that everyone always enjoyed presenting results to the client, and the initial brainstorming sessions for new projects,” Van Harten writes for P&Q.. “But a successful consultant is also willing to put in long hours, do boring but necessary tasks in Powerpoint or Excel, and in general, take one for the team. When you show this knowledge in interviews, it will go a long way in convincing your interviewer you’re a good fit for the job.”