An MBA degree can be a fast ticket to the top of a blue-chip company, or to launching your own business venture. The degrees are often pricey, but the returns can be bigger: MBA candidates frequently double their salary within three years of graduating from business school.
But in this sense, not all MBA programs are created equal. There are a vast number of business schools in the US, all offering multiple MBA programs with varying outcomes for graduates. We’ve delved into the data, producing a list of the 10 best US MBA programs for employability.
This list is based on the percentage of students who are hired within three months, their salaries and career progress. We also take into account alumni network effectiveness, business school career services and support for entrepreneurs.
Alumni of Stanford Graduate School of Business in California have the highest weighted average salary in the world, $228,074 three years from graduation, according to the Financial Times. Stanford also ranked top for career progress — changes in level of seniority and size of company alumni are working in now, versus three years ago. Alumni praised Stanford’s network, which is responsive. Another advantage is the school’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley, home to many startups and notable technology companies, such as Apple, Facebook and Google.View School Profile
Graduates from Harvard Business School’s MBA program have the second highest average weighted salary globally at $205,486, according to the FT. It also ranked second for career progress in the US. What’s more, alumni from across 100 business schools ranked HBS top among institutions from which they would recruit MBA graduates. Harvard is one of the best brands in business education, and has educated scores of people who have gone on to lead in the corporate world, such as the CEO of JPMorgan Chase and former chief of General Electric.View School Profile
Some 95 percent of alumni from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania are employed within three months of graduating from the MBA. The prestigious business school came second for networking globally in Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest MBA ranking. It also came third for overall compensation, with median starting salaries as high as $148,000 in the consulting industry or $130,000 in financial services.View School Profile
A staggering 99.1 percent of MBAs from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington got hired within 90 days after graduation, virtually guaranteeing a job for its students. Some 60 percent of them will go work in the technology industry thanks in part to the school’s location in Seattle, home to both Amazon and Microsoft. It will help that all students at Foster have to take a professional development course before the MBA begins, preparing for job interviews. There’s also free mentorship and executive coaching on offer.View School Profile
The career service at University of Chicago Booth School of Business is ranked second globally by the FT. The school’s Career Management team provides one-on-one coaching to alumni throughout their entire career, helping with job searches, interviewing and overall career strategy. Some 90 percent of Chicago Booth alumni achieved their career aims, with 96 percent employed at the three-month mark. The school is also ranked as having the best MBA overall globally by The Economist.View School Profile
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is ranked second overall globally by The Economist, in a list that is weighted heavily to career outcomes. Kellogg was ranked fourth on the potential to network, and fifth on student rating of alumni effectiveness. An impressive 95 percent of the MBA graduates are employed with 90 days. The biggest recruiters are all consulting firms — The Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company, and Bain & Company.View School Profile
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business scored highly on most of The Economist’s career metrics. It came fifth globally on how open to new career opportunities MBA students are, first on student rating of alumni effectiveness, sixth on the percentage of students who got a job offer after three months, and tenth for salary increase. Graduates made $124,702, a 107 percent increase on their pre-MBA pay.View School Profile
At MIT Sloan School of Management a hefty 95 percent of MBA graduates are employed within 90 days, and an impressive 90 percent achieved their professional aims. The alumni network is strong, with MIT Sloan placing third globally on the FT’s alumni recommendation rank. The salary achieved by graduates after three years is also enormous: $186,081. In addition, MIT Sloan is a good option for entrepreneurs, since US News ranked it third in the country for entrepreneurship.View School Profile
Columbia Business School in New York City is one of America’s top MBA providers, and is ranked highly by most major publications. This is in large part because of the excellent career outcomes of its graduates, 90 percent of whom are employed within three months. According to Bloomberg, Columbia has the fifth best US MBA for networking. The school’s location in the Big Apple is also a major perk, since it provides access to corporate recruiters in industries like finance, fashion, media and technology.View School Profile
MBA alumni of UC Berkeley Haas are renowned for their success in the technology industry and in innovating, frequently topping lists of schools the tech giants like Amazon hire from, as well as the best schools for entrepreneurs. Bloomberg ranked it top for entrepreneurship, for example. An impressive 93 percent of grads are employed by three months and 91 percent achieved their aims.View School Profile