2021 MBA Jobs: Smooth Sailing For MIT Sloan Grads

Ninety-six percent of MIT Sloan Class of 2021 MBAs had job offers by three months after graduation. Sloan photo

MIT Sloan School of Management MBAs didn’t experience the same severity of employment downturn in 2020 as most of their peers. With the release of the school’s 2021 jobs report, any hint of a pandemic pause in Sloan MBA prospects has been firmly put to rest.

Though median salaries and bonuses were flat this year at $150,000 and $30,000, other compensation, reported by more than 70% of the class, skyrocketed from a median of $11,000 to $34,000, powering an 8.5% jump in total compensation to $195,600 from $180,223. That’s a much healthier rate of pay increase than last year’s 3.8% and even better than the strong 7.6% that the Class of 2019 enjoyed.

Susan Brennan, assistant dean for the 
MIT Sloan Career Development Office, notes in the forward to the just-released report that the average base salary for Sloan’s MBA Class of 2021 increased to $148,075, while its “other” mean jumped significantly, to $65,064 from $52,947. “This year’s outcomes highlight the value of the MIT Sloan MBA, especially in times that 
call for agile business leaders who solve complex problems with ingenuity,” Brennan says.


Placement rates for MIT Sloan grads barely fell off last year during the worst months of the Covid-19 pandemic, though internships were another story (more on that below). For context, 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%. Last year, amid coronavirus, 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%. Of the 407 MBAs graduating from MIT this year, 95.9% received offers within three months of graduation, a mild improvement, while 94.8% accepted — a better than 4% increase.

Top industries for MIT's 2020 MBAs were consulting (31.1%), technology (27.6%), and finance (18.5%); a year before, consulting and tech were tied at 30.7%. Healthcare in 2020 was flat at 5.6%, while manufacturing industries as a whole grew to 18.2% of the class, from 15.4% in 2019. This year, consulting (28.3%) and tech (25%) were down a bit while finance saw a resurgence (21.4%). But the big news is the higher percentage of full-time offers in pharmaceuticals/healthcare/biotechnology, which grew to 9.8% of the class from 6%. (See page 2 for a list of top employers of Sloan MBAs over the years.)

"We are grateful to our faculty, employers, alumni, students, and partners across the MIT Sloan community for creating and engaging in the uniquely Sloan experience that drives these great outcomes, through world-class curriculum, labs, centers and initiatives, and professional development and networking activities," Brennan says.


Of the 405 total graduates in the Class of 2020, 57, or 14.1%, were sponsored and planned to return to their companies; that was up from 46 (11.4%) in 2019. Fewer planned to start their own business, however: just 14, or 3.5%, down from 6.7% in 2019. This year, 76 Sloanies (18.7%) were sponsored and returning, and 17 (4.2%) were planning to become entrepreneurs.

Where do Sloanies go to work? Largely the Northeast — Boston and New York — though a larger portion chose the West than in 2020 — 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. This year, the Northeast once again claimed most Sloan grads (40%), but the lure of the West (28%) and San Francisco (15%) continued to be strong — and the earner of the top reported salary of $275K lives in the SF Bay Area.

As it is every year, growth potential was the top reason Sloan MBAs accepted their position, down slightly to 40.7% from 43.6% (and 44.3% in 2019). Sustainability, which had grown by leaps and bounds in 2019 as a cause for Sloan MBAs to take a job, then cratered from 4.3% to 0.9% last year, notably bounced back in 2021, to 2.8%.

"Sloanies are motivated by potential for impact and opportunities to make their ideas matter," Brennan says. "Graduates found these opportunities with companies who have long-standing hiring relationships with MIT Sloan, as well as companies hiring at MIT Sloan for the first time. The Classes of 2021 and 2022 accepted opportunities at 342 companies, pursuing pathways for impact and advancement at leading and growing organizations across the country and around the globe." She adds that 48.6% of Class of 2021 grads who accepted positions went to work with employers who hired three or more Sloan MBAs for full-time roles or internships, while 53.5% of the organizations that hired Sloanies this year did so for the first time.

MIT Sloan is the second M7 school to release its employment report so far this year; read about Chicago Booth's Class of 2021 employment outcomes here.

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