The big three global consulting firms—McKinsey, Bain & Boston Consulting Group—are expected to hire 20% of the graduates of the Tuck School at Dartmouth College this year. That’s nearly a 50% increase from 2013 that will drive the percentage of the Class of 2014 taking consulting jobs to 33% to 35%, from 27% last year.
“We are definitely seeing a banner year for 2013-2014,” says Jonathan Masland, director of Tuck’s counseling and recruiting in career development. “This will be the fifth straight year of very strong employment results for our students. The highlight there for 2014 is a big significant jump in the consulting track. We’ll actually see one in every five members of the class join the Big Three. That is a pretty big chunk of the class.”
Masland attributes the sharp increase in hiring by M/B/B, as they are known in the short hand vernacular among MBA students to both continued growth in the consulting sector but also to significantly stronger relationship work on the part of a former McKinsey consultant and engagement manager, Stephen Pidgeon, who joined Tuck’s career development staff two years ago. “I think it’s helping, but at the end of the day, it’s the students who have to prepare for their interviews and get the offers.,” says Masland.
‘WE ARE STARTING TO GET SOME DISTANCE FROM THE TRAUMA OF THE 2008 MARKET’
The school today (Jan. 20) released its official Class of 2013 employment stats which showed that 91% of the class had job offers at graduation and 95% had offers three months later. Interestingly enough, the rate of acceptance of those job offers at graduation was 81%, a ten-percentage point gap. “There was a greater level of confidence among graduates than we had seen earlier,” explains Masland. “People were getting offers but not accepting them. We are starting to get some distance from the trauma of the 2008-2009 market. There is a general sense that things are fairly strong, and students feel they can turn down an offer and wait for the ideal job.
Three months after commencement, 91% of the class had accepted offers, although 95% had job offers in hand. “A few years ago, they would have grabbed and accepted something that came along,” added Masland. “But to take something that is sub-optimal with the idea of switching later on is not a good strategy. It’s better to wait to get the job you want and that’s what a good number of graduates were doing.”
HIGHEST “BONUS COMPENSATION” FOR CLASS WAS $225,000
The highest bonus paid to a Tuck grad last year was $225,000, Masland says. The highest reported base salary was $180,000 for a job in real estate in the northeast, according to Tuck’s 2013 employment report, and the lowest base—$56,000—went to a Tuck MBA who ventured into investment banking in Asia.
Overall, base salaries remained unchanged from 2012, with both the mean and median numbers at $115,000. The median signing bonus for the Class of 2013 was $25,000, with an average of $29,000. The median “other compensation” was $30,000, with an average of $39,000.
Masland said the Class of 2013 data reflects several trends. “More people are leaving the northeast and getting to the Bay Area, Seattle and Minneapolis,” he says. Some 10% of the class took jobs in the San Francisco Bay area alone, up from 8% a year earlier. “And there’s continued greater interest in technology and earlier stage companies. More students are starting their own companies or joining firms that are entrepreneurial.” Some 13% of the class took jobs in the technology sector, also up two percentage points from 2012.
FINANCE IS BACK, CLAIMING 30% OF CLASS, UP FROM 22% LAST YEAR
Another fairly substantial change for last year was the return of offers from financial service firms. “Finance has come back,” says Masland. “It is back up to 30% of the class, from a low of 22% in 2012. Last year, we were all looking at each other asking if this was going to be the new norm. With it popping back up to 30% and with us expecting another 30% this year in finance, we think the low was an aberration. But it is much more fragmented placement in investing and insurance, with increasing interviews in private wealth management. Investment banking and sales and trading has dropped.”
About 14% of the class went into investment banking, with 7% in investment management, 2% in private equity and 7% in an “other” category for finance jobs. The highest median base pay went to graduates who took jobs in consulting where the median salary was $135,000, up $5,000 from the previous year.
(See following page for base salaries by industry from the 2013 employment report for Tuck)