Consulting Slips, Salaries Grow For Emory MBAs

Emory Goizueta

It’s the story of the pandemic — at least where MBA jobs are concerned. Offers and acceptances are down, but salaries are holding firm, even rising. Among top-25 schools, we’ve seen it again and again — and now we see it at Emory University, where Goizueta Business School has just released its 2020 MBA employment report showing that, indeed, job offers decreased in the coronavirus-plagued year of 2020 while average starting salaries and bonuses increased.

Ninety-two percent of Emory’s 2020 MBAs received offers within three months, down from last year’s stellar 97%, which led all major U.S. programs. Additionally, 90% accepted offers within three months, versus 95% last year. But while offers and acceptances were down for the 181 members of the Class of 2020, average starting salary increased to $130,112, up 2.3% from last year’s $127,238, and average starting salary-plus-bonus jumped to $158,153 from $149,575 — an increase of 5.7%.

“The past year has been a difficult one, both for the aspiring business leaders in our program and for our corporate partners seeking top talent,” Emory Goizueta interim Dean Karen Sedatole tells Poets&Quants. “But I’m thrilled with the resilience our students have shown — which will serve them well throughout their careers — and the close connections with employers Goizueta’s Career Management Center has leveraged to deliver extraordinary employment outcomes for the class of 2020.”


Consulting continues to be where Goizueta places most of its graduates, but it fell considerably this year, down from nearly half the Class of 2019 — 45% — to 34% in 2020. Financial services benefited the most, growing to 31% of the class from 16%, while technology grew to 16% from 12%. No other sector was above 10%, though “other,” which includes communications and government jobs, accounted for 14% of the class.

Consulting may have slipped but Emory MBAs in the industry still make the most money. The median base salary for graduates accepting roles in consulting services is $160,000 in 2020, up from $145,000 last year, a 10.3% increase. Goizueta’s finance MBAs make a base salary of $130K, up from $125K last year, while tech MBAs make $120K, same as last year.

Most (58%) MBAs graduating from the Atlanta, Georgia B-school stay in the U.S. South, an increase from 50% in 2019, while 15% head for the Northeast corridor of New York-Boston (down from 18%), and 12% go west to California or Seattle, exactly the same amount as in 2019.


Most of the jobs accepted by Goizueta MBAs in 2020 came from internships: 52%. That’s an increase from 45% last year. The high number makes this year’s internship data instructive for those reading the tea leaves for next year’s employment picture. By industry, most of Goizueta’s rising second-years again worked in consulting (30%), but it was a much closer race for second place, with finance internships accounting for 20% of the class and tech summer jobs 19%. In 2019, consulting was at 31%, while finance was 19% and tech just 10%.

Forty-three percent of summer jobs were arranged through the school this year, up slightly from last year’s 41%. Twenty percent were student-initiated, up from 14% in 2019. Emory’s employment report did not contain internship pay data this year.

See the full Emory Goizueta 2020 MBA employment report here.


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