For the first time in nearly a decade, tech is not king at Tepper.
Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business released a preliminary MBA employment “summary” for Class of 2020 MBAs showing that even as tech grew from last year, consulting grew faster overtaking tech for top industry destination. Thirty-three percent of 2020 Tepper MBAs went into the consulting sector, while 31.4% chose tech, breaking a tie from last year, when both industries were at 30.5%.
The two top industries were followed by financial services (13.1%) and biopharma/healthcare (7%). The remaining 15% of accepted job offers were in sectors such as manufacturing, energy, retail, and media/entertainment.
Overall, 89% of full-time Tepper Class of 2020 MBA students received employment offers within three months of graduation, down from 2019, when 94% had received offers by that time, while 87% accepted offers after 90 days, down from 91%. The school offers “broader perspective,” noting that the average percentage of Tepper MBAs with offers for the three previous years (2016 to 2018) was 91%, and the average percentage of graduates with accepted offers for the three previous years was 88%.
“Given the slower pace of recruiting due to the growing impact of the global pandemic, a decrease of only four to five percentage points from our best year, and a decrease of only one to two percentage points from recent strong years, is exceptional and speaks to the value of the Tepper MBA in the marketplace,” Stephen Rakas, executive director of the Tepper Masters Career Center, says in a blog post at the school’s website. He adds: “According to industry standards, we cannot include employment outcomes occurring more than 90 days after graduation, but we continue to hear from our remaining 2020 MBA grads who are accepting job offers at this time.”
NEW RECORD MEDIAN STARTING SALARY: $136K
The median starting salary for the approximately 236 Tepper grads this year was $136,000, a new school record, up nearly $10K from last year’s record median of $126,250. Meanwhile, signing/starting bonuses continued to grow to a median of $30,000, up from $25K; of those who accepted offers, 91% reported receiving a signing/starting bonus.
Consulting MBAs made the highest salaries, at a median $160,000, followed by finance ($142,500) and tech ($130,000). The average consulting salary for a 2020 Tepper MBA was just over $150,000.
“Given the extremely challenging environment this year, the employment statistics for the Class of 2020 are quite remarkable,” Tepper School Dean Isabelle Bajeux says. “I attribute this to the perseverance of our students, the quality of the education they’ve received, the support of our alumni and recruiter networks, and the dedication of the Masters Career Center team throughout these unprecedented times.”
EARLY SHIFT TO VIRTUAL BENEFITS TEPPER GRADS IN A PANDEMIC
Tepper was on track to have “a banner year” when coronavirus struck in March, Rakas says.
“When the March shutdown happened, the 2020 employment numbers were already strong and on track with 2019,” he writes. “As the shutdown continued, some companies made unprecedented cutbacks while others experienced growth and new opportunity. Most of our recruiting partners were proactive in assuring students they intended to honor their offers. Ultimately, only a few students had full time or internship offers rescinded and each of them were able to find other opportunities.”
Another reason for the positive outcome: a pre-pandemic shift by some companies to a virtual recruiting model, which helped prepare Tepper’s career center for the forced spring pivot to virtual events and interviews. “Having that head start with supporting virtual recruiting undoubtedly helped smooth out any bumps to what might have been a wildly disrupted process,” Rakas says. Alumni also played a big role, as they did at other B-schools in an unprecedented year.
Overall, the Class of 2020 employment results show the strengths of the Tepper program in delivering “exceptional analytical and leadership skills and our students’ ability to apply those skills across industries and functions,” Rakas adds.
“We’re very proud to celebrate the exceptional successes of our graduates this year,” he says. “Reflecting on how we collectively achieved such strong outcomes in an extremely challenging environment, we are cautiously optimistic for 2021.”
AND CHECK OUT OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF MBA EMPLOYMENT AT THE MAJOR PROGRAMS: