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For 2nd Straight Year, Dartmouth Tuck Reports Record MBA Pay

All smiles: Dartmouth Tuck graduates in 2019 set new records for employment and compensation. Tuck photo

Safe to say, few members of the Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business Class of 2019 are complaining about their decision to get an MBA, or where they chose to get it. Employment data released by the school  (November 1) shows that 98% of Tuck’s most recent MBA grads received a job offer by three months after graduation, just missing the school’s all-time record of 99%. Among 2019 graduates with non-permanent U.S. work authorization, 97% received offers of employment.

And that isn’t even the half of it. Tuck reports that median total compensation for graduates soared to $170,000 in 2019, increasing from a then-record $155,000 just a year ago — a 10% jump. Median first-year base salary for a Tuck MBA grew to $140,000 from $130,000, and median signing bonus rose to $30,000 from $25,000. Tuck stopped reporting other guaranteed compensation in 2015.

The average first-year base salary and signing bonus for Tuck’s newest graduates comes to $169,947. The high salary is $200,000, for a grad who went into private equity; the high bonus is $90,000. Also a Tuck record: the number of grads reporting that they received a signing bonus: 88%.

“Our 2019 employment data certainly illustrates great success for Tuck graduates,” says Stephen Pidgeon, executive director of career services. “The world’s leading MBA employers recognize our students for their ability to work in teams and exercise decisive leadership. It’s a natural fit for our graduates to be hired into exciting and rewarding positions where a key part of their success will come from working across a business to bring people together.”


The top industries for the 249 Tuck graduates seeking jobs this year are consulting (38%), finance (24%), and technology (19%), the latter figure representing a decline from last year’s all-time high mark of 24%. Nevertheless, because tech remains an area of great interest among current and prospective Tuck students, the school recently added another full-time adviser to its career services team. The addition of Laura Mogilner, herself a 2008 Tuck grad, brings the number of career advisers at Tuck to eight.

“We have consciously invested in our advising team to enable us to work very closely with all students and support them in pursuing their professional aspirations,” Pidgeon says. “We get to know everyone, and are able to bring a very personalized level of advice and coaching. Add to that Tuck’s legendarily supportive alumni network and incredible generosity of classmates and faculty. When all of this is combined, it creates a very powerful support structure for students as they each go through their own transformative journey.”

The 21% decline in tech jobs at Tuck is reflected in one more place in the new jobs report: the list of top 10 employers. Only one big tech company, Amazon, remains on the list, which includes consulting giants McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company, as well as EY-Parthenon, Deloitte, and L.E.K. Consulting LLC. Bank of America Securities is among the top finance employers of Tuck MBAs.

Healthcare, which was the destination of a record 8% of Tuckies in 2018, employs 5% of the Class of 2019. Other industry homes for the newly graduated include manufacturing (4%), consumer goods/retail (4%), real estate (2%), and transportation (2%).


Finance jobs for Tuck grads had dropped below tech last year, but at the time, based on internships and the job market, Pidgeon forecasted a bounce-back. “Ever since the financial crisis (in 2008-2009), the value proposition hasn’t been there for many MBA students,” he told P&Q. “But that has changed and investment banking is also an industry that is still open to hiring international students.”

Forecasting once again this fall, Pidgeon offers a candid assessment, predicting more gains in consulting, which was up 26.7% this year.

“It’s a good year for Tuck with the 98% offers and the high salary numbers. A lot of that is driven by the consulting companies, which are firmly in growth mode,” he says. “I spoke to a senior partner at a top firm who told me, ‘The only constraint to our growth is our ability to hire great people,’ so it’s not surprising they are hiring so many of our MBAs. That trend is looking to continue for the class of 2020 as we see the results of second-year recruiting already coming in — I’d predict another banner year for consulting. In addition, having our new adviser (Mogilner) out on the West Coast is really raising Tuck’s game in terms of being able to connect our students to exciting Bay Area employers. As a result of this year’s changed curriculum, first years were able to spend a week visiting Seattle and the Bay Area, among other locations, and Laura is proving to be in strong demand with our students.

“One other trend I’m seeing is a rise in interest for Leadership Programs. Tuck has always been known as a General Management school, driven by its broad and demanding core curriculum, and this year particularly I’m seeing more of our students looking to get into a program that will fast-track them to a leadership position. A company like Danaher is a great example — I think of it as a leadership factory where MBAs can go and learn the toolkit, learn the business, and know that fairly quickly they can be a general manager. We chose to start our recruiting season this year with an ‘LDP Fair’ which brought together students and recruiters from many of the leading companies. So in all, it seems like a great time to be a Tuck student — I only wish I could do it all again myself, but as an alum who works back at the school I guess I have the next best thing.”