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

In 2019, 95.7% of MIT Sloan’s graduating MBAs received job offers by three months after graduation, down slightly from 97.1% in 2018. This year, even amid coronavirus, the Sloan School kept the job offers coming, with 95.5% receiving offers after 90 days and 91.1% accepting. File photo

At MIT Sloan School of Management, salaries were up and job offers kept flowing — and that’s really all you can ask for in a challenging year like 2020, says Susan Sandler Brennan, assistant dean of the Career Development Office.

According to the newly released Sloan MBA Class of 2020 employment report, total median compensation was $180,223, up from $173,670 last year, boosted by an increase of $10K in median base salary. Overall, the 3.8% increase in total compensation represents a slower rise than the 7.6% increase between 2018 and 2019 — but as Brennan says in the employment report, the challenges of 2020 brought new opportunities for innovation
and collaboration in recruiting, and showed the strength of MIT Sloan’s network.

“Market uncertainty in March impacted full-time and internship opportunities, with an unprecedented number of rescinded or canceled offers,” Brennan says. “The MIT Sloan community, including our leadership, faculty, centers and initiatives, and alumni came together to source hundreds of opportunities and fund select internships. It has been a year of partnership and resilience.”


Coronavirus was not entirely ineffectual in blunting Sloanies’ progress. But it didn’t carry quite the trauma as elsewhere. In 2019, nearly 96% of MIT’s 403 grads received job offers by three months after graduation, down slightly from 2018 (97%), while 93.2% accepted, down from 93.6%. This year, even as Covid-19 cast unprecedented doubt on the strength of some job offers, the percentage of offers to the 314 grads who were actively seeking work dropped only slightly, to 95.5% from 95.7%, and those accepting fell to 91.1%.

“It is rare for an employer to rescind an offer made to an MIT Sloan student,” the school’s new jobs report reads. “Due to the Covid-19 crisis, several employers rescinded or canceled offers in the spring and summer of 2020. Our data indicates 12 full-time offers were rescinded in 2020, and 9 of those students indicated they accepted another full-time offer by three months post-graduation.”

Adds Brennan: “The MBA Class of 2020 performed well in a challenging market, with 95.5% receiving offers within three months of graduation. Forty-seven percent of job-seeking graduates accepted positions with employers who hired three or more Sloanies; and 52% of organizations hired Sloanies for the first time in 2020.”

Top industries for MIT 2020 MBAs were once again consulting (31.1%), tech (27.6%), and finance (18.5%). Consulting and tech have been very close in recent years, and were tied last year at 30.7% of Class of 2019 MBA jobs, but consulting pulled away in 2020 as tech saw a drop. Finance, too, slipped slightly. Healthcare, meanwhile, was flat at 5.6%; manufacturing industries as a whole grew to 18.2% of the class, from 15.4% in 2019. See page 2 for a list of top employers of Sloan MBAs over the years.


In 2019, MIT reported a median starting salary of $140,000, up from $135,000 in 2018; median signing bonus of $30,000, same as 2018; and median “other” compensation of $35,000, up from $27,000. This year, the median salary rose to $150K, signing bonus was flat, and “other” shrank to $11K — though one lucky grad reported other comp of $400,000. The average base salary for 2020 Sloan MBAs also increased, to $144,140, while the average signing bonus climbed to $34K; Brennan says additionally, more graduates accepted equity as part of their compensation.

Of the 405 total graduates in the Class of 2020, 57, or 14.1%, were sponsored and planned to return to their companies; that’s up from 46 (11.4%) last year. Fewer planned to start their own business, however: just 14, or 3.5%, down from 6.7% in 2019.

Where did Sloanies go to work? Largely the Northeast — Boston and New York — though a larger portion chose the West than last year — 29.7% from 27.2%. Most of those (15%) went to the San Francisco Bay Area, home of Silicon Valley. The person with the largest reported salary — $230K — chose to stay local in Boston.

Growth potential was once again the top reason Sloan MBAs accepted their position, down slightly to 43.6% from 44.3%. Notably, sustainability — which had exploded in 2019 as a cause for Sloan MBAs to take a job — cratered from 4.3% to 0.9%.


As at most B-schools this year, internships bore the brunt of the impact from the health crisis. “Market uncertainty in the spring impacted internships for the Class of 2021,” Brennan writes. “In addition to 18 rescinded or cancelled offers, many students actively interviewing with companies found internship hiring stalled due to hiring freezes. The MIT Sloan community — our leadership, alumni, faculty, and centers, including the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship — came together to source approximately 200 new opportunities. Senior leadership and our alumni also supported a fund for select unpaid internships and research projects to ensure students could participate in this important professional development experience.”

Among the opportunities created to mitigate the challenging internship environment between March and June were more than 100 startup opportunities on Orbit, the entrepreneurship opportunity platform of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship; and more than 60 MIT research opportunities with MIT faculty, research centers, and initiatives, including Covid-19 Alliance, Healthcare and Innovative Financing, and MIT Sloan LATAM Office. Meanwhile, 34 MBAs received support for their internship through the Internship and Faculty Project Fund, created in response to the pandemic. “The fund supported students participating in unpaid internships, MIT-affiliated startup internships, and faculty research projects,” the report reads.

For the MBA Class of 2021, the top internship industries were finance (26.6%), technology (25.1%), and consulting (16.9%), with 31% accepting internships at MIT’s top hiring companies. “Students accepted opportunities with 300 companies, and we are pleased our students found opportunities for impact at so many different organizations around the country and the world,” Brennan writes.

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