Kellogg Jobs Report Shows The Market Is Still Kind To Elite MBAs

Social distancing in the classroom at Northwestern Kellogg. Kellogg photo

Coronavirus may be wreaking havoc in a lot of sectors of the U.S. economy, but there’s at least one thing it can’t change: An MBA from an elite school will get you a job, if you want one.

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management is only the most recent example of this long-held truth. Kellogg released its Class of 2020 employment report today (November 18), showing that even in a pandemic, there are jobs to be had for the most attractive B-school talent. Ninety-five percent of Kellogg MBAs received offers three months after graduation, down only a bit from last year’s mark of 98%, and 93% accepted, down from 95%. Kellogg grads also received a record-high median base salary of $144,000 and median signing bonus of $30,000.

Of course, all this didn’t just happen — it took a lot of work by Kellogg’s careers team, says Liza Kirkpatrick, managing director of Kellogg’s Career Management Center for Full-Time Programs.

“As I reflect on the employment outcomes for our 2Y MBA Class of 2020, one thing is indisputable — this past year was an incredible display of resilience, collaboration, and creativity,” Kirkpatrick writes in a blog post. “Despite significant disruption to virtually every industry, including a complete pivot to how companies recruit and interview, I’m incredibly proud to say that 95% of Kellogg’s 2Y MBA class received job offers and 93% of the class accepted job offers within three months of graduating. Among our international 2Y MBA grads in particular, 96% received job offers and 93% accepted job offers within three months of graduating.

“To see this success during such a disruptive year is an incredible testament to the strength of the Kellogg network, our longstanding and diverse relationships with employers, and the resiliency of our students.”


Consulting was king at Kellogg once again in 2020, only more so, jumping 8 percentage points from last year. Thirty-nine percent of Kellogg Class of 2020 MBAs went to work in the industry, equalling the next two sectors — technology and finance — combined. Tech was second at 25%, down a point from last year, while finance snapped back to its 2018 mark of 14% after a surge last year.

“Consulting continues to be our most popular industry, comprising 39% of accepted roles among 2Y MBA grads this year,” Kirkpatrick says. “Amidst significant disruption and change in the world, the need for agile, collaborative leaders with creative problem-solving skills is stronger than ever — particularly in the consulting realm, which is focused on tackling challenges across all industries and functions.

“Kellogg has long been known for developing leaders with strong general management skills and the rare ability to understand and influence people — leaders who demonstrate great empathy. Our grads accepted roles at consulting firms of all specializations, sizes and locations, ranging from boutique firms to roles at Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and Bain.”

Three of the top four employers of Class of 2020 MBAs were the MBB firms of McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain and Company, with Amazon also in the mix. BCG led all employers with 38 hires, followed by McKinsey (32), Bain (23), and Amazon (23). Microsoft was the next biggest recruiter of Kellogg MBAs, with eight.


Kellogg’s alumni network was crucial to achieving such good employment outcomes, Kirkpatrick says. The effort began in March when the school’s Career Management Center launched an aggressive HireKellogg campaign to offset significant changes to the hiring landscape brought by the pandemic

“We called on our global alumni community of more than 65,000 to leverage their networks and uncover employment opportunities for the Kellogg community,” she says. “This led to a total of 251 alumni-sourced job opportunities on our Kellogg Job Board for full-time students.

“Our students were also hard at work networking with Kellogg alumni, securing the right post-MBA roles to launch the next chapter of their careers. One of our grads, Lauren, landed an internship and ultimately a full-time role at the early-stage health tech startup Kalderos — building on her prior experience in healthcare product management. The opportunity surfaced through proactive networking with the company’s president and COO, a Kellogg alum. Another grad, Eric, wanted to pivot to impact-focused work after a career in aerospace engineering. He networked with fellow alumni working with The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and landed a management consulting role with the organization, leveraging the skills he developed during his summer internship experience at Bain.

“I’ve heard time and time again from our students: though it has been unpredictable and at times stressful, this past year of disruption has given them unique first-hand experience in navigating change and creatively adapting. Ultimately, this experience makes our grads more agile, resilient and empathetic leaders — qualities they will leverage well into their post-MBA careers.”

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