The coronavirus pandemic recedes further and further in graduate business education’s rearview — in some ways more than others. The latest sign of a complete recovery for MBAs is the preliminary employment report from Emory University, which announced some astonishing numbers Monday (October 4) for 2021 graduates of Goizueta Business School’s full-time two-year MBA program.
The global health crisis hit Emory Goizueta MBAs harder in 2020 than most of their counterparts at other schools. Job offers and acceptances plummeted at Emory, with both dropping 5 percentage points, the former slipping to 92% and the latter declining to 90%. At graduation, just 83% of Emory MBAs had received offers of work.
But the new class has reversed the losses, and then some: At three months after graduation, 99% of Emory’s MBA Class of 2021 had received and accepted job offers. At graduation, 91% of the class received a full-time offer, representing an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Both marks represent the best employment rates in the school’s history.
‘LUCRATIVE, FULFILLING CAREERS’
It’s not just the placement rates — it’s the money, too. Last year, Emory MBAs made an average base salary of $130,112, up from $127,248 in 2019. That’s about 2.2% and it was among the lowest starting salaries in the top 25 in 2020.
Now, Goizueta reports that this year’s MBAs earned an average starting base salary of $134,700, up $4,588, or 3.5%. Over the past four years, Emory MBA salaries have grown nearly $14,000.
Moreover, Goizueta’s 2021 MBAs saw a bump in signing bonuses as well, with the class average growing to $29,151 from $28,076 in 2020.
“We are so proud of our 2021 graduates and can’t wait to see all the ways these principled leaders impact business and society,” says Maureen Manion-Leone, associate dean and executive director of Goizueta Business School’s Graduate Career Management Center.
“The Goizueta MBA is the only top-ranked MBA offering world-class academics and small-by-design classes delivered in a dynamic, global city. We are thrilled to continue to see our program pay off in lucrative, fulfilling careers for our graduates.”
CONSULTING STILL KING, BUT FINANCE & TECH CONTINUE TO GROW
Where do Emory MBAs find those "lucrative, fulfilling careers"? Increasingly, outside of consulting, which has traditionally been the school's primary industry. This year, even as consulting rebounded from a down year, placement rates were up in financial services (to 23% from 18%) and technology (to 20% from 16%), too, as the big banks — Bank of America, JP Morgan, Capital One, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Truist, and Wells Fargo — and Big Tech — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce — paid special attention to the talent coming out of Atlanta.
Consulting, however, is still king at Emory Goizueta, with 37% of 2021 graduates entering the industry, up from 34% last year — one of the lowest years for consultants at the school, a year that increasingly looks like an outlier. (Nearly half — 45% — of the entire Class of 2019, for example, went into the industry.) Consultants in the Class of 2021 secured a mean salary of $148,007 and a median of $158,000, the latter of which was a slight decline from last year's $160K (see table above).
And while tech firms did their share of hiring out of Emory, four of the top eight companies that took on Goizueta MBAs this year were familiar names from the consulting world: Deloitte, EY, PwC, and McKinsey.
Goizueta MBAs also expanded their presence in the West and Northeast, but particularly in the South — no surprise since 75% of Fortune 1000 firms now have a presence in Atlanta. More than half of Goizueta graduates chose the South (53%) over other regions, with another 30% accepting jobs in the Northeast and on the West Coast.
The Goizueta Career Center will release the full MBA Class of 2021 Employment Report and Class of 2022 Internships Report in the next few weeks.
And be sure to check out the other Poets&Quants stories about 2021 employment reports: