All things considered, the numbers are solid: 92% of MBA job-seekers in the NYU Stern School of Business Class of 2020 received job offers, and 89% accepted, by 90 days after graduation. That’s according to the school’s employment report, released today (October 29). But the impact of coronavirus on the job prospects of Stern MBAs can’t be hidden: The bottom-line employment numbers — as well as others showing job offers and acceptances at graduation — have slipped measurably compared to the Class of 2019.
What hasn’t slipped, and what is perhaps the most impressive part of Stern’s jobs report: starting base salaries, which grew by a greater year-over-year pace despite the health crisis that remains unconquered in the United States. Signing bonuses, however, dipped slightly.
How did Stern keep up its base pay figures, while also ensuring that 100% of the Class of 2021 secured summer work over a season fraught with pandemic? By calling on its famously robust alumni network, says Beth Briggs, associate dean of career services — and by leaning into a rebrand announced last fall that included the launch of SternWorks, an initiative that connects MBAs with small businesses and nonprofits that need their help.
The Stern community also persevered, Briggs says, through strength, resilience, and “emotional intelligence.”
“Throughout the recent challenges,” she writes in the introduction to the new report, “our two-year, full-time MBA students drew upon their intellectual strength and emotional intelligence to demonstrate resilience and empathy for one another, and all of the Stern community, as we collectively navigated an unexpected and a changed world.
“Last November, when Stern introduced our new school brand focused on embracing change, we could not have anticipated how immediately and deeply our students would experience this call to action during the spring and summer of 2020. Our partnership with employers and alumni was key to student success as we deepened existing connections and created new opportunities. These relationships resulted in all first-year students who were seeking a summer internship securing one and a large percentage of our graduating second-year students finding full-time roles.”
SALARIES ACTUALLY WENT UP FASTER IN 2020 THAN 2019
Stern’s 2020 MBA employment report shows that 88.8% of graduates accepted jobs within three months of graduation, down from 94% last year. Job offers received at graduation were down to 83% from 90%; accepted at graduation, to 79% from 86%; and received three months after graduation, to 92% from 95% (see table above). However, in one interesting and positive wrinkle, 88.4% of international graduates accepted jobs within three months of graduation, on par with their domestic peers.
Once again, the top industries were the same, but in a new order: finance (33.5%), particularly investment banking (25.7%), claimed the top spot for the first tine in three years, rising from 29.4% last year; while consulting (31.7%) slipped slightly from last year’s level of 37.1%. Tech (16.9%) also grew, up from 15% in 2019. Consulting salaries led the top three industries at a median of $165,000, followed by finance ($150K) and tech ($130K), though the 3.5% of Stern’s 320 MBAs looking for employment this year who went into law made a median of $190,000. Stern’s investment banker MBAs, notably, reported the highest average signing bonus at $55,065.
Median base salaries overall were $150,000, up from $140,000 in 2019. Interestingly, between 2018 and 2019 average base salaries for Stern MBAs grew 4.8%, yet between 2019 and 2020, with coronavirus clouding the economy, salaries grew 6.3%. However, while median bonuses stayed the same at $30,000, the average slipped slightly, to $37,892 from $38,214. (See table below.)
RESILIENCE & PERSISTENCE IN A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER’
In 2019, three-quarters (74.9%) of Stern MBAs went to work in the Northeast, mostly in New York City, down from 77.6% the previous year. In 2020, little has changed, with 76% of Stern grads staying in the area. The next closest region is the West, where 10.9% of MBAs found work, down from 15.2% in 2019. Notably, the percentage of MBAs headed to work in healthcare doubled from 2.1% in 2019 to 4.2% this year.
Top 2020 employers of Stern MBAs include consulting firms McKinsey & Company (16) and Boston Consulting Group (13), as well as Amazon (12), Strategy& (12), Deloitte (11), and Credit Suisse (10). JPMorgan hired nine Stern MBAs, Citi hired eight, Morgan Stanley hired 7, and Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Guggenheim Partners, and Goldman Sachs hired six each.
Beth Briggs noted that, building on the rebrand begun with SternWorks and other programs launched in fall 2019, NYU has created programs in fall 2020 that builds an infrastructure within the MBA to develop students’ capacity to impact and drive change. Through Change:Studio, students will choose from a menu of options across three pillars — Leadership Development, Experiential Learning, and Entrepreneurship. Like SternWorks, it’s a program that relies on deep involvement by the school’s alumni.
“In these unprecedented times, we are especially grateful for Stern’s deep partnerships across industries, fueled by long-standing relationships and a robust alumni community,” Briggs says in a news release announcing the new jobs report. “These relationships together with the talent and tenacity of our students have resulted in continued strong employment outcomes for our two-year full-time MBAs, including high-quality roles in a range of industries despite the rapidly shifting business landscape during the past several months.
“When the pandemic hit in early spring, the Office of Career Development quickly adapted and went into overdrive to add even more support for students that contributed to strong employment outcomes that exceeded what we saw during the 2008 recession. We are extremely proud that 88.8% of graduates accepted jobs within three months of graduation. We are continuing to support students in their job searches with several more continuing to accept jobs past the three-month mark at pace with the just-in-time hiring picking up in the market now, pushing us past 90% at this moment in time. The Class of 2020 is incredibly special to us and has displayed a level of resilience and persistence in a year like no other. We are so proud of all that they have accomplished.”
On international students in particular, Briggs noted, “At Stern, the relationship between two-year full-time MBAs and our Office of Career Development begins before students even step foot on campus. This high-touch, early engagement served us especially well this year across the board, and in particular with international students, who are accepting jobs at a rate on par with their U.S. peers.”
100% OF STERN’S CLASS OF 2021 SECURE INTERNSHIPS OR ‘SUMMER EXPERIENCES’
Another proud point for Stern: 100% of Class of 2021 MBA students seeking a summer experience secured one. But note the word “experience” in place of “internship.” Not all work was paid this summer — and many of the low- or unpaid summer jobs were left out of the school’s base salary calculations.
Of the 318 Class of 2021 Stern MBA students who sought work this summer, many worked through SternWorks, and their salaries were funded by alumni grants and not included in the weekly salary tallies in Stern’s employment report. That allowed the school to report a weekly base salary of $2,460 for its whole class, up a small amount — 3% — from $2,388. Comparing the previous two years, the summer of 2018 and the summer of 2019, weekly salaries grew from $2,133 to $2,388, or 12%. (See table below.)
Class of 2021 median weekly internship base salary was $2,695, up from $2,500 last year and $2,302 in 2018.
Top employers of interns shifted once again. Last year, JPMorgan and McKinsey brought on 16 interns each, followed by Amazon with 15, Deloitte with 14, and BCG and Credit Suisse with 12 apiece. In 2020, Credit Suisse hired the most Stern students, at 14, followed by McKinsey (11), Bank of America (10), Amazon (9), and Goldman Sachs (8), with JPMorgan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Strategy& at seven each.
See more employment and internship data on the NYU Stern Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 on page 2.