Job Offers Slip, But Yale MBA Pay Is Way Up

Yale SOM photo

Yale School of Management MBAs entering the job market in 2020 faced the same hurdles as their peers at the top schools, from the M7 schools that Yale measures itself against to those further down the ladder. And with much the same results: a drop in overall employment offset by an increase in overall salary, and “business as usual” in most other areas.

Yale SOM’s employment report was published this week showing a big jump in both starting median salary and total compensation for Class of 2020 MBAs. The higher compensation is consolation for the most obvious impact of the coronavirus pandemic that shut down the school’s campus in March, striking just when MBA programs were winding down and students were thinking about graduation, and extending through the summer period when those without sponsorship or offers already on the table from their summer internships expected to see the most interest: job offers and acceptances slipped to their lowest levels in several years, with 90.2% of the class receiving offers three months after graduation and just under 86% accepting.

But while pay was up and offers were down at Yale, the industry composition of the class changed little, with consulting continuing to rule as the top destination, accounting for more than a third of Yale MBA jobs. Finance was stable in second place, and tech was also about the same as last year. In fact the biggest change was in consumer packaged goods/retail, which jumped nearly 4 percentage points to about 12% of the 2020 class.


Of the 346 graduates in the Yale MBA Class of 2020, 276 sought work; 21, or about 6%, started their own business. Consulting hires accounted for 36.9% of the class, down from an all-time high of 37.2% in 2019, while 23.3% went into finance (down from 24%) and 12.7% into tech (down from 12.8%). Notably, within finance, the number of Yale MBAs working in private equity/venture capital has exploded in the last two years, to 6.4% in 2020 from just 2% in 2018.

But pay is what matters most to most new MBAs, and in that area, the Yale Class of 2020 made news this year with a major increase in total compensation, fueled by a big boost in median base pay. Factoring in an overall median base salary of $140K, up from $130K last year, as well as a median signing bonus of $30K (unchanged) reported by 77.3% of grads and a median “other” comp of more than $20K reported by just over 10%, and we find that Yale MBAs’ median total comp was $165,333 in 2020, up from $155,170 last year. That’s a 6.5% jump in one year; for comparison, the overall comp increase at Yale between 2018 and 2019 was 2.3%.

Consulting was the highest-paid field, at a median of $165K. Finance grads made a median of $150K, and tech, $131K.


Top employers of Yale MBAs in 2020 were once again a who’s who of familiar giants: in consulting, in addition to the MBB firms were Deloitte, EY, Kearney, and PwC; in banking, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America; in tech, Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, Dell. Yale SOM does not report exact numbers for individual employers. Notably absent was one company that can be found in nearly every employment report for a major MBA program, nearly every year: Amazon.

Regionally, Yale MBAs once again remained in the New York-Boston corridor, with 47% of the class working there, down from just over 50% last year. Those MBAs also make the most, at a median of $150K. Next closest was the West, where 29.2% of the Class of 2020 went (median salary $140K), followed by the Mid-Atlantic ($130K). Notably, far more Yale MBAs stayed stateside this year, another reflection of the reality of the pandemic, with more than 87% of full-time jobs reported inside the U.S. compared to just under 80% in 2019. Yale MBAs working in the U.S. made a median base salary of $145K, up $10K in a year. Of those who did find work abroad, most went (or went back) to Asia (50%), though at a considerable pay disadvantage: their median starting salary was $106,610.

At most B-schools in 2020, internships were more impacted than jobs, but Yale showed little sign of that, with 100% of Class of 2021 MBAs seeking an internship — 312 students in a class of 343 — getting one. The highest-paid were those who went to work in the Southwest, just 3.5% of total interns, who made a median $3,000 per week. Those in the Northeast, 56.3% of the class, made a median $2,100. Forecasting a possible change in the top industries in next year’s employment report, far more Yale Class of 2021 students interned for finance (30.2%) than consulting (18.4%) companies.


Wharton MBAs See Slip In Employment Rate, Median Salaries Flat

Consulting Widens Gap In Chicago Booth’s Final 2020 MBA Jobs Report

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

MIT Makes It Look Easy: Sloan MBAs Get Salary Bump In 2020

Columbia MBAs See Drop In 2020 Compensation

Virus Can’t Slow Rise Of Dartmouth Tuck MBA Salaries

‘It Was A Tough Year’: Berkeley Haas Releases 2020 MBA Jobs Report

Impact Of Covid Written Clearly In New Stern MBA Jobs Report

Salaries Up, Bonuses Down For USC Marshall MBAs

Salaries Up, But UNC’s International MBAs Struggle

Covid Dampens But Can’t Drown Georgetown MBA Outcomes

Vanderbilt MBA Jobs Report: Owen Grads Overcome, Post Strong Numbers

Upper Midwest MBA Jobs Report: Minnesota Carlson Posts Warm Numbers

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.