What Does It Say About The MBA Job Market That An M7 School Has Yet To Publish Its 2023 Employment Report?

Columbia Business School has not published its 2023 MBA employment report, unlike every other M7 school — and, indeed, every other major MBA program in the United States. File photo

We have 2023 employment data for most business schools in the United States. But a significant indicator of major decline in the (literal) fortunes of MBAs who graduated last year is what we haven’t seen: Columbia Business School, one of the premier B-schools on the planet, has yet to publish employment data for its 2023 graduating class — and there’s no telling when they intend to break that streak of silence.

Since publishing its MBA Class of 2022 employment report more than 13 months ago in mid-December 2022, CBS has not updated any of its numbers to show how that class’s successors fared in what we know was (and continues to be) a challenging job market. Every other top business school in the United States has published a 2023 jobs report — including all of the other M7 schools. Most published their reports months ago.

Why has Columbia neglected to publish its report? Requests for comment by Poets&Quants have gone unanswered.

Update: A spokesperson for Columbia Business School contacted P&Q after the publication of this story and said staffing issues were behind the delay, adding that the employment report will be published in February. This story has been edited to reflect the nature of the delay.


If other M7 jobs reports are any indicator, Columbia’s report, when published, is likely to show a decline in job placement for Columbia MBAs. In fact the downturn extended well beyond the elite of the elite that comprise the M7: Every other B-school that publishes annual employment reports reported declines, of greater or lesser severity, in job offers and acceptances three months after graduation; some even showed flat salary growth, a rarity even in the teeth of the coronavirus pandemic.

A big drop-off in placement rates or median base salary would be particularly striking for Columbia because in its last employment report, for the Class of 2022, Columbia was on top of the business education world. Median salaries were up $25,000 from 2021, to $175K, and median compensation was up nearly 14% year-over-year and more than 16% from two years earlier, to $203,252. That put Columbia firmly in third place among M7 schools.

The 2022 employment report capped a terrific year for CBS, which opened the year by opening the doors to a shiny new $600 million building and followed in the fall with another stellar MBA class profile that showed the school avoided many of the problems that had begun dogging its peer schools and others, notably a huge application decline. CBS saw only a comparatively low 5.5% decline in apps in the 2021-2022 cycle.


We know how challenging the 2023 MBA job market was because other M7 schools had historic trouble finding work for their Class of 2023 MBAs, and that was probably the case for Columbia, too. Harvard Business School’s Class of 2023 employment data showed that 86% of last year’s grads received job offers 90 days after graduation, down from 95% a year earlier, and 80% accepted, down 10 percentage points from the previous year’s 90%. Of MIT Sloan School of Management’s 336 job seekers in last year’s MBA class of 446, 90.2% received job offers by three months after graduation, and 86.9% accepted. You have to go back to 2013 to find another sub-90% job acceptance result for Sloanies.

At Chicago Booth School of Business, total job offers at graduation (91.1%, from 93.1%) and three months later (95.6%, from 96.8%) were down year-over-year, while acceptances dropped to 88% at graduation from 90.4%, and to 94.3% after 90 days from 95.6%. And at Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, job offers at three months post-graduation fell to 95% from 99%, and acceptances declined from 97% to 92%.

Placement rates held up well at one M7 school: the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. However, median salary for Wharton’s MBA Class of 2023 was flat at $175,000 — and in finance, where more than one third of Wharton MBAs found work last year, median salary grew less than 1% to $175K.

Stanford Graduate School of Business, meanwhile, had a strong overall 2023 report, including a total pay average approaching the $300K threshold. But its placement numbers were its worst in years, with job offers at three months post-graduation sinking to 89%, lower even than the pandemic class of 2020 (91%), and acceptances — normally a lower number for Stanford than most schools because of the high number of entrepreneurs in each class — at just 82%, lower than every class going back to 2016. Even Stanford’s two pandemic classes of 2020 and 2021 managed job acceptance rates of 85% and 91%, respectively. Given the challenging environment, Stanford’s number of MBAs seeking employment was dramatically lower this year: 256 compared to last year’s 309. Just 62% of the class went job seeking, down from 67% in 2022, 66% in 2021, 67% in 2020, and 72% in 2019.


Columbia’s MBA employment report is so long overdue, MBAs and MBA candidates were already shocked a month ago not to find it available. As user regnadehtmai wrote, “Has CBS published their employment report yet for the class of 2023? If not, what have people heard? Anecdotally, the folks I knew there seem to be really struggling.

“Looks like the reports/news from HBS and GSB confirm how bad the market has been (for those seeking jobs, around ~20% unemployed out of Harvard 3 months after graduation, and I remember ~35% unemployed out of Stanford at the date of graduation).”

The question is, when we see Columbia’s employment report, what will it show in comparison to its peer schools, and what will it add to the already fairly full picture we have of the MBA job market in 2023? At Reddit and elsewhere, expectations are low.


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