Business schools reported a record year for career placement in 2022, defying a growing mood of caution over the economy. Several top schools in the US, the world’s biggest economy and birthplace of the MBA, posted their highest ever salaries, even as some big employers started cutting back on hiring.
The figures demonstrate the enduring value of the MBA degree in the labor market. While inflation and interest rates are increasing at present, the unemployment rate remains low and many companies are still snapping up graduates from the world’s best business schools - and paying them hefty bonuses, too.
Many of the graduates were hired by technology companies, despite a wider slowdown, as the tech industry grapples with a tougher macroeconomic environment. This signals that tech companies still value MBAs even as they cut back on hiring after a frantic couple of years of recruiting.
Despite posting big salary gains, some schools reported a slight fall in the number of students hired within three months of graduation -- the MBA industry’s preferred benchmark of employment.
But that largely reflects their bigger class sizes after an enrolment boom during the Covid pandemic between 2020-22. That trend may continue as the economic outlook now darkens as we head into 2023.
After total compensation fell the year before, 2022 saw HBS return to form. Average pay including salary and bonus soared 17 percent, reaching $175,000 for freshly minted MBA graduates. That reflects the big pay on offer in consulting, which snapped up 26 percent of the class. But the largest portion of the cohort, at 35 percent, went into financial services.View School Profile
Chicago Booth has long been considered a finance school, and it cemented that reputation last year when 35 percent of the MBA class went into banking, even though consulting is the top industry of choice. What is more, median total compensation increased by 10 percent, more than twice the rate of growth the year before, to $196,000.View School Profile
The average pay for Stanford’s MBA graduates is $250,000 including base salary and bonuses. More Stanford MBAs went into tech than the year before, despite a more recent slowdown in hiring in that sector. But with 93 percent of the class receiving job offers last year, that represents a fall from 96 percent in 2021. But those who were hired were far better paid than their predecessors.View School Profile
Last year the median salary for Wharton’s MBA class was $175,000, a near 13 percent rise on the prior year. Nearly 17 percent of them were hired in the technology sector, where the base salary shot up by 8.7 percent. But the biggest chunk of Wharton’s class went into finance, some 39 percent of them. The fattest wages were commanded in finance.View School Profile
Columbia Business School MBAs earned median salaries of $175,000 shortly after graduation last year, up $25,000 from 2021. That took the median total pay to an all-time high of more than $200,000 once all compensated was tallied. Bucking a trend at its peer schools, Columbia reported that overall placement hit 95 percent, up from 94 percent in 2021.View School Profile
At Stern in New York City, the median base salary increased $15,000 to $170,000, while signing bonuses matched last year’s record of $35,000. A total of 94 percent of the class had accepted jobs three months after graduation, down slightly from the previous year’s record of 95 percent. Consulting took the largest share of the MBAs, 31 percent, with 27 percent going into investment banking.View School Profile
An impressive 99 percent of the Kellogg MBA class of 2022 landed job offers within three months of graduation, up from 97 percent last year. The median salary for the class rose by $15,000 to $165,000, with bonuses staying flat at $30,000. Consulting hired a record 40 percent of the class.View School Profile
At MIT Sloan, the average base salary increased 7.6 percent from 2021, to $159,391, while bonuses rose $11,000 to $34,000. The consulting industry hired the most of Sloan’s MBAs, taking on 31 percent of the class, while it also paid the highest wages, $175,000 on average. Tech came in second, hiring nearly 23 percent of the class but paying them far less, nearly $149,000.View School Profile
Yale reported a 12.5 percent increase in median pay last year, with a $160,000 starting salary and $30,000 signing bonus. Nearly half the class went into consulting, at 46 percent, up by more than one-third from the year before, led by McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group. Finance fell to about 22 percent from 25 percent while tech dropped to nearly 8 percent from 10 percent in the prior year.View School Profile
Georgetown McDonough gradates achieved record salaries last year with an average base of $138,000, up 10 percent from $126,107 the year before. The average signing bonus was $36,342, a 6% increase from 2021. About 96 percent had job offers after three months, equaling last year’s record employment number. The top industry for MBAs in 2022 was consulting at 29 percent, followed closely by financial services at 25 percent. Technology was the third most popular industry at 18 percent.View School Profile