MBA Pay By Industry & School

MBA Pay By Industry

In the United States, the highest starting pay belongs to Dartmouth Tuck and Columbia Business School MBAs. In Europe, IMD Business School and SDA Bocconi grads rake in the biggest paychecks to start. Head to Asia and Canada and the honors go to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Ivey Business School respectively.

That’s only a small part of the story – and the underlying numbers show why.

Traditionally, MBA applicants can access overall pay for recent grads. Trouble is, most valuable data is buried in each school’s employment report: Industry Pay. Take Columbia Business School. Want to work in Finance? According to Bloomberg Businessweek, MBAs can expect a median salary of $175,000 for the year ending June 30, 2023 (i.e. Class of 2022). The same $175,000 median starting point is true for CBS grads who entered Consulting. After that, pay deviates sharply between industries. In Technology, CBS grads pulled in $145,000, while Healthcare and Consumer Goods hires averaged $123,500 and $120,000 in base.

Architectural and exterior photography of Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall, by photographer Iwan Baan Stock photos of CBS Manhattanville campus

Columbia Business School

WHERE TO EARN AND LEARN THE MOST

Alas, these numbers don’t include sign-on bonuses or benefits like 401K match or student loan reimbursement. Still, they are a reminder that MBA grads are paid by what their chosen industry can bear – and that ability fluctuates. More than that, industries value business school graduates differently. At $175K, Columbia grads pull in the 2nd-highest bases for Finance. That said, Bloomberg Businessweek reports graduates from 13 other MBA programs also collected $175K to start, including UCLA Anderson, Rice Jones, and Notre Dame Mendoza (not to mention the usual suspects like Harvard, Wharton, Dartmouth Tuck, and NYU Stern.

That’s not to say Columbia Business School doesn’t give future financiers an advantage. After all, it boasted the largest number of Finance hires – 256 – and the fourth-highest percentage of MBA graduates entering Finance (41.3%) among business schools. With greater numbers come deeper resources, such as investment in faculty, courses, events, speakers, and partnerships. Even more, these numbers translate to wider networks that can provide counsel and opportunities in more firms at higher levels.

Where do MBAs earn the most to start and which schools graduate the highest concentration of MBAs in particular industries? As part of its September MBA Ranking, Bloomberg Businessweek compared business schools side-by-side across 14 industries ranging from Consulting to Technology to Healthcare. Along with including median starting pay, Bloomberg Businessweek also published the number and percentage of graduates who entered the field from each program (with schools excluded when they produced two or fewer grads).

Wondering what you are worth when you’re starting out? Curious about how many prospective classmates will be looking to enter a similar industry? Click on the links below to learn which schools pay the most and draw the most interest in your chosen industry.

FINANCE

CONSULTING

TECHNOLOGY

HEALTHCARE

CONSUMER PRODUCTS

MANUFACTURING

REAL ESTATE

RETAIL

ENERGY

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

TRANSPORTATION

NONPROFITS

GOVERNMENT

HOSPITALITY

TOTAL MBA HIRES BY INDUSTRY

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