Darden MBAs Report Another Record Class Salary In 2023

Virginia Darden’s 2023 MBA employment report shows 96% of graduates had accepted a job offer by three months after graduation, same as last year

MBA graduates of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business have had a good run going back a half-decade or more. This year’s class, graduating in spring, did nothing to reverse the school’s streak of strong employment outcomes.

In 2023, for the fifth straight year, Darden MBAs set a school record for the class average salary. Salaries have grown by more than 24% since 2019, rising throughout the tribulations of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath.

“The notable achievements of our most recent graduating class are a testament to the hard work Darden students put forward each day in pursuit of their ambitious career goals,” says Jeff McNish, assistant dean of the school’s Career Center, in a Darden blog. “Our tremendous Career Center staff, dedicated alumni network and supportive faculty all come together to ensure that Darden graduates are able to access valuable employment opportunities and achieve positive outcomes.”


The average starting base salary for Virginia Darden’s Class of 2020 MBAs was $139,945, up about $4,800 from the Class of 2019’s $135,168 average, or 3.5%. In 2021, Darden’s average salary grew $4,988 to $144,933, a 3.6% increase. In 2022, the salary average grew to $157,090, up 8.4%; and this year the average is $167,899, up another 6.9%.

Since that Class of 2019, Darden MBA salaries have grown by $32,731, an incredible 24.2% leap. The school’s median base salary remained $175,000 this year, also a school record, for a second straight year.

Most impressive of all is that the salary growth at Darden has been steady through a period of extreme volatility in the MBA market. That helps to explain Darden’s recent high placement in the Bloomberg Businessweek 2023 ranking, where the Charlottesville school landed No. 3 out of all U.S. B-schools, up six places in one year.


Nor were jobs in shorter supply for Darden MBAs. The 2023 class maintained a high percentage of job offers accepted within three months of graduation, with 94.5% of grads accepting a full-time job offer in that period, and 95.8% receiving at least one job offer in that span. These numbers are down, but not significantly, from 2022, when 97.5% of Darden MBAs had received a job offer by 90 days after graduation, and 96.4% had accepted. Also impressive this year: During the summer of 2023, 100% of the full-Time MBA Class of 2024 completed an internship.

Darden’s 2023 graduates have followed the recent trend of eschewing the slumping tech industry, with only 10.5% going into that field, down from 13.8% last year; in two years Darden’s tech-bound cohort has been nearly cut in half. Once again, consulting was the top industry in 2023, with nearly half the class (46.3%) going into the sector, up from 43.5% last year; and finance was second at 26.2%, up from 25.4%.

This year’s class mostly went to work in the U.S. Northeast (32.6%), followed by the Mid-Atlantic (22.7%), South (12.8%), Southwest (10.9%), West (10.5%), and Midwest (8%). Top employers include Amazon, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and Bain.

Darden’s final full-time MBA Class of 2023 employment report will be released by the Career Center “in the coming weeks,” the school said on October 16.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.