U.S. News Data: Salary Prospects, Job Rates for MBA Grads



The average b-school student gets at least a few years of work experience before they attend business school. For many students, an MBA leads to a career change and a six-figure salary.


Finding a job after graduation is the first step to getting a bigger paycheck.


More than 13,000 full-time students sought employment before graduating from 131 ranked graduate business schools in 2016, according to data submitted to U.S. News in an annual survey. Eighty-eight percent of those students were employed within three months of graduating. At 15 ranked institutions, 95 to 100 percent of recent alumni were able to find employment within three months.


Temple University’s Fox School of Business is the only school where all students who were seeking employment before graduation found jobs within three months of receiving a degree. But with a graduating class of 42 and only 37 seeking employment, it is one of the smaller ranked institutions.


From health care management to finance, MBA grads who are looking to earn competitive salaries, in growing career fields with low unemployment rates have a lot of options.


Consulting leads to the biggest paycheck. The average salary for 2016 graduates of full-time programs was $126,919. On the opposite end of the spectrum, grads who went into the nonprofit sector earned an average of $81,776 a year.


Graduates who earn the highest salaries attend the top-ranked schools, according to U.S. News data. All of the 10 institutions where students earned the highest average salary and bonus were ranked between No. 1 and 14 in the 2018 Best Business Schools rankings. Only eight of the 59 schools where graduates earned an average salary and bonus of more than $100,000 ranked higher than 50.


At Stanford University, tied at No. 4 in the rankings, graduates earned an average salary and bonus of $164,189. Harvard University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania alumni are close behind, earning more than $163,000.


Comparatively, College of Charleston School of Business – the school’s rank was not published on usnews.com – alumni earned the lowest average salary and bonus: $54,212. Graduates at 73 of the 113 schools that submitted these data to U.S. News earned an average starting salary and bonus of more than $90,000.