For MBA applicants, increasing the earning potential as well as working in the best environment like Microsoft, Deloitte, Google,… are often served as great motivators to get an MBA degree from a top business school. However, if you are still wondering about what jobs you can get or how much you will earn with an MBA, this article would provide you an overview of your MBA career path. 

1. Not every MBA degree guarantees the same career opportunities 

MBA degrees from different institutions with varied courseworks would ensure different levels of post-MBA opportunities and salaries. Your pre-MBA work experience and position influence where’d you land afterwards too. Below we analyze the three core factors: Business School Ranking, Geography, and Industry so that you can consider.

1.1. Business school Ranking 

The influence of b-school brand names is undeniable. The glamor of business schools are brought about by all the achievements of top alumni and the strong network of students post graduation. Having a high-ranked graduate school on your resume boost up your minimum base salary tremendously, and that is reflected through real numbers:

Here is the statistic of post-MBA salary by top 10 B-schools in 2019 with the acceptance rate that we have researched:

S.No.

Business School

Average post-MBA salary in 2019

The acceptance rate 

1

Wharton 

$181.927

22%

2

Stanford 

$180.831

6.7%

3

Harvard 

$176.928

12%

4

Columbia

$173.725

19.1%

5

Stern 

$173.513

26.1%

6

Booth 

$173.438

22.5%

7

Tuck 

$169.947

34.5%

8

Kellogg

$168.924

26%

9

MIT

$168.745

11.5%

10

Darden 

$168.626

36.3%

Source: US News and World Report 2019

Top business schools also give students an advantage in getting big-paycheck jobs thanks to massive networking opportunities at campus. Companies hold career fairs regularly at target schools, putting their students first in line for the most coveted jobs. Imagine Big Tech companies and Bulge Bracket banks got all their vacancies being filled with batches from top target schools. 

It’s not unfair that these schools are so much favored: the faculty, their teaching methods and facilities at the top schools are all excellent; creating generations of stellar students.

Let’s take the Harvard MBA class teaching method – case-based learning – for example. You are given a business case and your job is to try to metaphorically fill the shoes of the manager to reach the conclusion about the problem presented. You also get a chance to share, discuss, and debate your conclusion with your talented fellows in your team. This method does train your mind with real business problems and helps you offer recommendations for a possible solution. 

Or in Stanford, the GSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies provides a wealth of resources for budding entrepreneurs, including private counseling sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and investors. And as located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the school gives students a chance to have networked with relatively young technology entrepreneurs and the people who invest in their companies. Find out more information about the 7 “magnificent” business schools in the US in our article below 

1.2. Geography 

The geographic location and the surrounding market for jobs also largely influence the post-MBA jobs and the average MBA salary. As an illustration, if the school is located maybe in New York or Chicago for example, one can expect that the starting salaries to be a little bit higher than they would be in some smaller regions like Iowa or Oklahoma.

               Starting salary for MBA graduates by region

Region

The median starting salary for new hires in 2019

Northeast

$125,000

South

$95,000

Midwest

$115,000

West

$115,000

Big countries or large regions where the recruitment comes from can be a hub for many industries, notably the banking sector or pharmaceutical industry. Starting salaries might naturally be higher to correspond with the living expenses. According to the QS TopMBA.com Jobs & Salary 2018 Trends Report, the top 5 countries for post-MBA salary are Switzerland ($123,500), United States ($102,100), Canada ($99,800), and France ($98,500).

Graduates from MBA at MIT accepted positions in North America with 90.7% which can be understood also the location of Silicon Valley. 

1.3. Industry 

The industry would determine your starting base salary. Based on the table below, it is clear that at most business schools consulting and finance are generally the top paymasters, followed closely by organizations from the technology industry. 

Source: US News & World Report 2020 survey

2. MBA in Consulting

After graduation for 2-3 years, when MBA professionals move into project leader levels and manager roles, they can expect a base salary of $220,000. After 4-5 years, when MBAs become senior project leaders and associate principals, they can earn up to $ 250,000 – $ 320,000. At the junior partner level base salary further increases to $350,000 – $420,000. 

The average base salary for consultants at MBA level at top firms in 2020 is $157.364. .

Post-MBA jobs 

Top schools (*)

Top firms for MBA consulting

  • Chief of staff 
  • Management Consultant
  • Project Manager
  • Business Consultant
  • Strategy Consultant 
  1. INSEAD (51%) 
  2. Yale (48.9%) 
  3. Columbia (35%) 
  4. Duke (34%) 
  5. Darden (35.5%) 
  6. MIT (38.5%) 
  7. Booth (34.8%) 
  8. Ross (34.9%) 
  9. Kellogg (37%)  
  • McKinsey & Company ($230k) 
  • Boston Consulting Group ($236k) 
  • Bain & Company ($236k) 
  • Deloitte ($151k) 
  • KPMG ($215K) 

*Graduates accepted positions in the following function. 

3. MBA in Marketing 

An MBA in marketing does not limit the degree holder to just have careers specializing  in marketing. However, as marketing skills can successfully be combined with other skills in order to make a person become a better consultant or entrepreneur, just to name two examples, MBA in Marketing would be a good choice for those who prefer flexibility in their career. This specialization can help accelerate entry and progress in some of the most competitive fields: marketing, advertising, and public relations.

For an MBA in Marketing, the average base salary at top firms in 2020 is around $93.000.

 Post-MBA jobs and average salary in Marketing  

Post jobs 

Top schools with the percent of MBA graduates accepted positions in Marketing

Top firms with the average salary for MBAs in Marketing

  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Analysis 
  • Account Manager
  • Marketing Director 
  • Business Development Director
  1. Kellogg (13.8%) 
  2. Ross (17.8%) 
  3. Fuqua (14%) 
  4. Stanford (18%)  
  5. Booth (5.2%) 
  6. Columbia (8.3%) 
  7. Harvard (13%) 
  8. Stern (10.9%) 
  9. Anderson (25.5%) 
  • Amazon ($143k) 
  • Dell, Inc ($150k) 
  • Microsoft ($166k) 
  • IBM Cor p ($196k) 
  • Pepsico ($102.250)

*Source: Poets&Quants. 

4. MBA in IT or Technology

Graduates with an MBA in information technology play essential roles on the business team, typically designing and implementing hardware and software solutions to business problems. They hold professional positions in areas such as client/server or web applications development, systems analysis, and network administration.

For an MBA in IT or Technology, the average base salary in 2019 is around $120.784.

Post jobs 

Top schools with the percent of MBA graduates accepted positions in Technology

Top firms with the average salary for MBAs in IT

  • Research Analyst 
  • IT director
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Startup CEO 
  • Product Manager
  1. University of Washington 
  2. Stanford (24%)
  3. Tepper 
  4. Berkeley Haas (32.9%)
  5. McCombs 
  6. Anderson (30.7%)
  7. Kellogg (10.3%)
  8. Ross 
  9. MIT Sloan (26.7%)
  10. Dartmouth Tuck (19%)
  • Microsoft  ($116,473) 
  • Google ($121,979) 
  • Intel ($122,416)
  • Facebook ($126,292).
  • IBM ($124,714) 
  • Amazon ($123,970) 

*Source: Poets&Quants.

5. MBA in Finance 

An accounting MBA readies students for the CPA exam and jobs in business accounting administration. Students gain skills to become accountants, financial managers, auditors, and more. Even in other roles, accounting MBA graduates will be well equipped to recognize good business opportunities when they present themselves and make strategic decisions based on the financial and non-financial performance of the company.

For an MBA in Finance, the average base salary in 2019 is around $130.001.

Post jobs 

Top schools with the percent of MBA graduates accepted positions in Finance

Top firms with the average salary for MBAs in Finance 

  • Investment Banker
  • Management Consultant
  • Bank Manager
  • Credit Managers
  • Capital Advisor
  1. Cornell (37%) 
  2. Wharton (11%) 
  3. Columbia (33.1%) 
  4. Stanford (31%) 
  5. Booth (36.2%) 
  6. Stern (30.6%) 
  7. Harvard (29%) 
  8. McDonough
  9. Tuck  (17%) 
  10. Yale (21.9%) 
  • Goldman Sachs ($128.571)
  • Credit Suisse ( $121,429) 
  • Boston Consulting Group ($165,000) 
  • Bain & Company 
  • Barclays ($125,000) 

*Source: Poets&Quants.

6. MBA in Operation 

An operations management MBA specialization looks at how products, services, and supply chains are designed and managed. One learns how to maintain process flows and to develop vendor and inter-departmental relationships. Most candidates with engineering backgrounds go for an MBA in operations, as it gives them an edge over their peers in product development and designing and in process optimization.

For an MBA in Operation, the average base salary in 2019 is around $102.867.

Post jobs 

Top schools with the percent of MBA graduates accepted positions in Operation 

Top firms with the average salary for MBAs in Operation 

  • Procurement / Purchasing.
  • Plant/Facility Manager.
  • Logistics / Distribution Manager
  • Warehouse Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager.


  1. MIT (12.9%) 
  2. Tepper Business School (5.8%) 
  3. Ross (7.7%) 
  4. Purdue (24%) 
  5. Wharton (3.1%)  
  6. Scheller College of Business
  7. Ohio State University (23%) 
  8. Kellogg (2.5%) 
  9. Columbia  (2.1%) 
  • Amazon
  • Wal-Mart
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Dell
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Apple

*Source: Poets&Quants.

7. MBA in Supply Chain Management 

Supply chain management is a subset of operations management which focuses on the flow of goods or services. The MBA concentration in supply chain management is designed for anyone who is planning on a post-MBA career in this area. It includes inventory management, warehousing and transportation of various materials as required by a client or a company.

For an MBA in Supply Chain Management, the average base salary in 2019 is around $109.866.

Post jobs 

Top schools for MBA Supply Chain Management

Top firms for MBAs in Supply Chain Management 

  • Industry Analyst
  • Project Manager 
  • Global Logistics Manager 
  • Transportation Director 
  • Supply Chain Sales
  • Supply Chain Consultant 
  • Procurement Analyst/Purchasing Manager
  1. Michigan State University (Broad)
  2. MIT
  3. Arizona State University
  4. University of Tennessee
  5. Pennsylvania State University
  6. Ohio State University (Fisher)
  • Intel
  • Dell 
  • Raytheon
  • Amazon 
  • Unilever

*Source: Poets&Quants.

8. MBA in Health Care 

This is a specialization that can prepare graduates for management positions in health care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, insurance agencies, facilities for elderly care, and public health agencies. It’s a growing industry, and thus is becoming an increasingly popular MBA. 

For an MBA in Health Care , the average base salary in 2019 is around $109.866.

Post jobs 

Top schools for MBA Health Care 

Working places for MBAs in Health Care 

  • Hospital Administrator
  • Pharmaceutical Project Manager
  • Health Services Managers and Administrators
  • Medical Entrepreneurship
  • Policy Analyst 
  1. Cornell

  2. University of North Carolina

  3. University of Virginia

  4. University of Pennsylvania

  5. Rice University 

  6. University of Michigan

  7. Emory University

  • Hospitals (Hospital Corporation of American) 

  • Pharmaceutical company (AMGEN, IMS Health) 

  • Substance abuse centers

  • Medical facilities

*Source: Poets&Quants.

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