2020 continues to recede in memory. A cavalcade of MBA employment reports this fall have shown the top business schools in the United States rebounding in most key metrics from the record bad year caused by the global health crisis.
The latest to join the party: Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, Georgetown McDonough School of Business, and Emory Goizueta Business School, all top 25-ranked B-schools in the U.S. that released their 2021 employment reports this month. Each report reinforces a theme established throughout the fall: resilience, boosted by the inherent value of the degree.
“I continue to be impressed and inspired by the dedication and perseverance of our students and their support systems here at the Tepper School,” says Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, dean of the Tepper School. “I could not be more proud of the successful employment and career outcomes that we have seen for our Full-Time MBA graduates. Together, we are building the future of industries, and this report demonstrates the impact of their work.”
BEST JOB RATES IN 10 YEARS AT TEPPER
Almost everyone looking for a job in Carnegie Mellon Tepper’s Class of 2021 found one, with nearly 96% of graduates receiving an offer of employment three months after graduation, and 95% accepting. That’s an improvement from 2020’s 89% getting offers and 87% accepting, and even better than the school’s pre-pandemic marks of 2019 (94% receiving, 91% accepting. In fact, the school says Class of 2021 grads set the highest Tepper MBA graduate employment rates in a decade.
Meanwhile, the 2021 class saw its median salaries remain flat after jumping 10% in 2020, landing at around $135,000 from $136,000 last year.
Tepper’s Masters Career Center reports that the consulting sector remained the top industry for graduates in 2021, at 33.7% (up from 33%), while technology was again second with 28% (down from 31.4%). The biotechnology/health/pharmaceutical industries jumped to 9.7% from 6.8%. Consulting paced all salaries at a median of $152,000, down from $160K last year; tech was next at $130,000, stable from 2020.
Stephen Rakas, executive director of the MCC, says though he anticipates the return of in-person recruiting, the virtual recruitment format has a silver lining.
“Although we are looking forward to resuming our in-person recruitment in the future, in a way, the virtual setting has increased our students’ options by expanding the number of companies that they are able to meet and interview with,” he explains. “The virtual format has broken down some potential barriers because of distance or location.”
‘IMPRESSIVE RESILIENCE, RESOURCEFULNESS & CREATIVITY’
At Georgetown, 96% of Class of 2021 MBA students received a job offer within three months of graduation and 95% accepted their offers — the highest levels ever achieved by full-time MBA graduates from McDonough. This after two straight years of slippage in both offers and acceptances, to 2020’s levels of 93% and 90%, respectively.
However, as they have at several schools with placement rebounds this year (including Tepper), MBA salaries slipped slightly at Georgetown. McDonough MBAs reported an average base salary of $126,107, down from last year’s record $128,162, and an average signing bonus of $34,073, basically flat from last year’s $34,707.
Financial services took over the top industry spot at McDonough this year at 32%, jumping from 24% last year, with consulting coming in a close second at 26%, down from 32%. Technology was the third most popular industry at 17%, down from 19%; like last year, the big three of consulting, finance, and tech accounted for 75% of all jobs accepted by McDonough MBAs, though in 2021 healthcare and consumer goods saw increases over 2020 percentages.
Consulting salaries led all industries at an average of $137,750, down from last year’s $146,999. Top employers once again included Amazon, Barclays, Capital One Financial, Citigroup, Deloitte, EY, Google, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, MorganFranklin Consulting, Navy Federal Credit Union, Nestlé USA, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rothschild, and StepStone Group.
“The Class of 2021 demonstrated impressive resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity in their recruiting efforts and their hard work resulted in our best year ever for career outcomes,” says Doreen Amorosa, associate dean and managing director of McDonough Career Services. “These graduates are equipped with the technical skills, global awareness, and principled leadership abilities needed to make an impact in a wide range of industries and functions. ”
EMORY SETS SCHOOL RECORDS WITH 99% OFFERS, 99% ACCEPTANCES
Emory Goizueta may have the best outcomes to report of any top-25 school this fall. One thing is certain: the Atlanta-based B-school had the best employment rates in the school’s history in 2021. As P&Q reported in October, within three months of graduating, 99% of Emory MBA students received and accepted offers for a full-time job, up from 92% receiving and 90% accepting last year — and even eclipsing the 2019 levels of 97% and 95%, respectively, that led all ranked U.S. schools that year. At graduation this year, 91% of the Goizueta MBA class received a full-time offer, representing an 8% increase over the previous year.
Unlike many of its peer schools, Emory did not see a corresponding dip in salary to go with a surge in placement. In addition to unprecedented employment rates, Goizueta MBA grads earned the highest salaries in the school’s history: an average of $134,700, up from $130,112 in 2020 and an increase of nearly $14,000 over the past four years. The class saw a rise in signing bonuses as well, on average securing $29,151 in 2021 versus $28,076 in 2020.
Consulting was again the largest industry, with 37% of 2021 graduates entered consulting, up from 34% in 2020, with Class of 2021 consulting grads securing a mean salary of $148,007. Grads entering financial services accounted for 23% of the class, up 5 percentage points from 2020, while tech jumped to 20%, up from 16%.
“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’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.”
CHECK OUT OUR COVERAGE OF THE JOB PROSPECTS FOR OTHER SCHOOLS’ MBA CLASSES OF 2021: