The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas-Austin had nearly identical class sizes in 2019 and 2020 in terms of MBAs seeking employment. But a worldwide coronavirus pandemic hit one class just as it was preparing to graduate, and that made a world of difference.
This year, of McCombs’ 184 full-time MBAs seeking employment, 77.2% accepted an offer by graduation and 85.6% by three months later. In 2019, of the 185 full-time McCombs MBAs looking for a job, 79.7% had accepted offers by the time they grabbed their degrees in the spring, and 91.1% had accepted by 90 days later.
As elsewhere, the impact of Covid-19 was impossible to miss at Texas McCombs. But also as elsewhere, the pandemic didn’t stop Class of 2020 McCombs MBAs from improving on their predecessors’ salary benchmarks. The Class of 2020 reported a median salary identical to the Class of 2019, at $125,000, but had a higher average, at $128,586 to $124,965, as well as higher median and mean bonuses: $30,000 and $31,698, respectively, compared to last year’s $25,000 and $29,486.
“As we reflect on 2020 and the challenges we have been presented, we take time to celebrate the accomplishments and determination of our recent graduates,” Janet Huang, senior assistant dean for McCombs Career Management and Corporate Relations, writes in the introduction to this year’s employment report. “The Longhorn family is united and resilient, and the McCombs School of Business is dedicated to work with and produce the most exceptional talent. As we look towards the future, we are reminded, once again, why we are Longhorns and why we choose McCombs; we know what starts here changes the world because we see it every day.”
SALARY BREAKDOWN: INTERNATIONAL MBAs LAG U.S.
Mean base salaries for U.S. citizens and permanent residents grew 3.6% in 2020, and for foreign nationals 1.1%; median salaries climbed by $5,000 for the former and were identical for the latter. See table above for details. Overall, salaries in 2020 were about 11% greater for McCombs MBAs with U.S. residency, a gap that widened from about 8.2% last year. The gap also widened on the bonus front, where U.S. MBAs received bonuses that were about 13.6% greater, compared to a difference of about 8% in 2019.
Technology and consulting were neck-and-neck last year as top industries for McCombs MBAs, but in 2020 tech surged far into the lead, with 31.8% of grads going into the sector, up from 25.9%. Consulting accounted for 22% in 2020, down from 25%. Finance was third at 17.8%, down from last year’s 19.2%. Consultants made the most, with an average base salary of $152,849, a big jump from last year’s $141,393, which also led all industries in 2019.
Huang writes that like its peer schools, Texas McCombs leaned into its alumni network for help securing work for its graduating MBAs.
“This year we called upon our vast employer and alumni network to engage our students with employment opportunities and volunteer consulting projects when Covid-19 began to slow the economy,” she writes. “We are thankful for the support of this network and our talented career consultants who embody our motto: Human Centered, Future Focused. Our career team partnered with our world-class faculty and industry experts to provide guidance on putting things into perspective, building career resilience, understanding the reality of the market, and leading and navigating through change.”
INTERNSHIPS: A WINDOW ON 2021
Once again this year, most McCombs MBAs stayed in the U.S. Southwest, with more than 60% taking jobs in the region. However, an increasing number chose the West Coast — nearly 20%, up from just 13% in 2019.
Internships can be a window on future employment reports, of course, and for McCombs, that bodes well for the Class of 2021. Both salary median and mean benchmarks were similar to 2019 despite the remote nature of much of the work, and while more than 85% of internships this summer were arranged or facilitated by the school — up from about 78% last year — MBA students were not restricted by the pandemic to local options, Huang writes.
“Through our partnerships and skills taught through our unique career management framework, our students maintained 100% acceptance with internship opportunities,” she writes. “Despite travel restrictions, our Class of 2021 students were able to participate in internships around the globe virtually, from Seattle to South Africa.
“This is ongoing proof that our alumni and student body, when facing the most extreme circumstances, continue to endure with steadfast determination towards their goals.”
AND CHECK OUT OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF MBA EMPLOYMENT AT THE MAJOR PROGRAMS: