Distance learning and unstable market conditions due to the Covid pandemic have not hurt the fortunes of MBA grads from top programs. The 2022 employment reports released in recent weeks from top schools, including NYU Stern School of Business, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business, MIT Sloan, Harvard, and other peer programs have all announced record-breaking starting salaries for grads.
NYU Stern MBA Salaries Soar
Median base salaries for NYU Stern were $170,000–the highest ever–up $15,000 from the previous year. Median signing bonuses of $35,000 were on par with 2021, and average total compensation rose by $14,340 to an unprecedented $196,143.
Within three months of graduation, 94.1 percent of Stern graduates had accepted job offers; 86.6% had accepted job offers by graduation. Top hiring industries remained consistent: consulting (31.2 percent), investment banking (27.2 percent) and tech (17.0 percent).
Brian Ruggiero, Associate Dean of Career Services, boasted that the Class of 2022, which had begun their MBA studies during the pandemic, “adapted quickly to the resulting paradigm shifts. The demand for these skills is clear,” he said, pointing to the high acceptance rates for jobs three months after graduation being on par with pre-pandemic levels, as well as the highest compensation on record. Early data for the Class of 2023 also show “strong demand for Stern talent,” he added, evidenced by a 100% success rate among seekers of internships.
Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2022 Almost at 100% Employment
Similarly, University of Michigan Ross School of Business reported that an eye-popping 99% percent of their 2022 grads were offered jobs within three months of graduation, landing median salaries of $165,000 and a $192,270 median salary package. Both salary figures reflect a $21,000 increase over the previous year.
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UC Berkeley Haas, Dartmouth Tuck, and Georgetown McDonough Report Great Employment Outcomes
On the West Coast, the 2022 class at UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business had a 93.8% job offer rate, up 4% from the prior year, returning that figure to among the highest of the pre-pandemic years. The median base salary for Haas MBAs was $155,000, up by 3.7% from the previous year.
Dartmouth Tuck’s employment data released November 22 for the Class of 2022 showed that 98% of Tuck grads had job offers within three months of graduation, with median base salaries rising by 16.7% to $175,000 from $150,000 in 2021. Ninety-three percent of grads received a median signing bonus of $30,000, bumping median total compensation to $202,900, up more than 15% from last year.
Georgetown MBAs enjoyed average base salaries of $138,552, up from $126,107 last year, and an average signing bonus of $36,342. A statement from their website noted that “96% of students received a job offer within three months of graduation and 95% accepted their offers – tying last year’s placement records as the highest levels ever achieved by Full-time MBA graduates. The record-setting average salary marks a 10% increase from 2021, with bonuses increasing by 6%.
“The outcomes presented in this report are a testament to the extraordinary talent in the Class of 2022,” said Christy Murray, associate dean and managing director of career services at Georgetown McDonough. “These students began their MBA journey amid ongoing disruptions and uncertainty from the global pandemic, yet through their hard work, perseverance, and commitment to excellence, they were well positioned to secure impactful roles in business across a wide range of industries and sectors.”
Wharton MBAs pocketed their highest-ever median base salary of $175,000, a jump of 12.9 %. Salaries had been flat at $150,000 in 2019 and 2020, rising only to $155,000 in 2021. Within three months of graduation, 98.7% of Wharton’s MBAs seeking jobs received offers. Wharton’s 20222 employment report, released November 17, also revealed that more grads than ever found jobs in tech, despite the current flurry of layoffs and hiring freezes at tech giants Meta, Amazon, and Twitter.
However, an article in Poets&Quants cautioned that Wharton’s impressive results in landing tech jobs may be a bit of an outlier:
“. . . techies should be wary of seeing Wharton’s success in tech as a sign of rebound. While the raw number of Wharton MBAs finding jobs in tech is higher than ever, the percentage of the class in the industry is down slightly, as the number of job-seeking graduates in 2022 (633) is 8.2% more than in 2021 (585) as a result of Wharton enrolling larger classes at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Moreover, Whartonites’ success in landing tech gigs runs counter to many of their peer schools, where tech hiring is down — and in some cases down big — and likely points to a very different tech landscape graduates faced this summer as they rounded out their offers.”
Other MBA 2022 Jobs and Salary Stats
The following data is from Poets&Quants and underscores that whatever hardships and uncertainties students experienced while applying and earning MBAs during such a volatile period, their investments are paying off handsomely now.
- Harvard Business School grads saw a 16.3% year-to-year increase in median salary to $175,000 and median performance bonuses increase to $40,000 powered a leap in total median compensation to $223,100, a one-year jump of 17.5%.
- Virginia Darden School of Business MBAs made a median $175,000, up 21% from the Class of 2021;
- At MIT Sloan School of Management, average base salary increased 7.6% from the previous year, to $159,391, and median base salary grew 10% to $165,000; total median compensation was $204,700, up 4.7% from $195,600 last year;
- At Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, median salary for the class jumped $15,000, to $165,000, and is up 18% since the last pre-pandemic graduating class in 2019; bonuses stayed at a median $30,000, and with 87% receiving them, median total pay came out to $191,100, up 8.7% from $175,800 last year.
Soaring MBA Salaries’ Significance for Applicants
These stats reflect several factors:
- The enduring value of the full-time two-year MBA degree from top MBA programs.
- Inflation, which increases salaries and will allow most of those who borrowed their tuition to pay off their debt with cheaper dollars.
- A tight labor market in which businesses – even if we are in a recession – are willing to pay for top talent.
Many of the 2022 MBA grads applied to business school in winter and spring 2020 at the height of COVID lock-downs, social isolation, and distance learning. Unemployment hit 14.8% in April, 2020 and remained above pre-COVID levels until Fall 2021. These grads looked at the dismal events of the time, swallowed hard, and concluded that the environment is paving the way for them to obtain their MBA. As you consider whether to apply at a time of rising layoffs, possible recession, and general instability, consider the payoff that these grads have experienced by taking the plunge when they did.
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