Why Wharton’s MBA Salaries Just Hit a New Record


THROUGH Sydney lake11 November 2021, 17:16

The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. (Photo by John Greim — LightRocket / Getty Images)

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most competitive full-time MBA programs in the United States, and for good reason. Fortune ranks Wharton as the third best MBA program in the United States, which has a lot to do with the career outcomes of its graduates.

On Nov. 9, Wharton announced that his latest promotion earned the school’s highest median base salary at $ 155,000, according to his 2021 MBA Career Report. Additionally, 99% of Wharton 2021 graduates have received a job offer right after graduating with their MBA. And it has a lot to do with the growing demand for MBA graduates, says Maryellen Reilly, associate associate dean of the Wharton MBA program.

“The job market wanted to hire MBAs and knew that to be competitive they had to be able to pay more,” she says. Fortune. “Everyone pursues a fairly limited number of MBAs. Salaries have increased everywhere, but certainly under the impetus of banks and consulting firms. ”

The school has not shared data on the bonuses its graduates have earned, but it is likely that many people made more than $ 200,000 immediately after graduation depending on the industries they have. pursued, according to a previous report by Fortune. The top three industries for the Wharton 2021 MBA class were Financial Services (35.1%), Consulting (27.2%), and Technology (18.1%). This is the highest share of tech internships to date, the school reported.

“Wharton is a very collaborative place. Our students learn from each other as much as they learn from the faculty, ”says Reilly. “All of this influences not only their job search, but also their success when they start interviewing and doing an internship. “

Consulting, finance and technology

Wharton has long been a leading producer of MBA graduates looking for positions in finance, but many students have previously taken more traditional avenues like investment banking. In recent years, however, Wharton has witnessed a “real diversification of students working in finance”, with more and more graduates moving into the private equity and venture capital professions, the cows at milk from the financial industry.

While Wharton students who pursued investment banking activities this year earned a base salary of $ 150,000, on average, graduates who went into private equity or venture capital earned between $ 157,500 and $ 167,500. Wharton doesn’t report bonus numbers, but other top business schools like Stanford University Graduate School of Business report that students who take private equity jobs receive total compensation of $ 400,000 and more immediately. after graduation. This reflects the high-stakes nature of the industry, Sameer Kamat, founder of MBA Crystal Ball and author of Beyond the MBA hype, said previously Fortune.

“Among all post-MBA careers, finance and strategy stand out from the rest in terms of the impact they can have on the companies they work with, Kamat said. “The cost of failure is even higher. A bad investment can result in the loss of several million dollars.

Wharton MBA graduates in consulting positions also have high earning potential. These 2021 graduates earned an average of $ 165,000 as a base salary and likely earned tens of thousands more in bonuses, assuming they were treated like graduates of other top business school programs. . Salaries for consulting jobs have also increased over the years due to the demand for MBA talent, according to a previous report from Fortune.

Wharton has seen more of his students pursue technology careers; in 2021, nearly 20% of its graduates found employment in industry. The school reported base salaries for tech graduates at $ 141,000, but data from other leading business school programs suggests these students are likely earning more than $ 200,000 with bonuses. Typically, technician salaries are about 20 to 25 percent higher for MBA graduates than for undergraduate hires, previously said Keith Feinberg, director of permanent employment services at Robert Half. Fortune.

How Wharton Succeeded During COVID-19

The 2021 class has arguably had the most disrupted MBA experience of any business school student in recent years. The Wharton campus closed in the spring of their first year, and students only reverted to a hybrid model in their second year of school. Their internship processes were disrupted due to the financial crisis. Many students only locked an internship in the spring of 2021, whereas they would traditionally have taken one in the summer of 2020.

To address the challenges that the 2021 class faced, Wharton Career Services launched Alumni Supporting Careers (ASC), a program in which alumni were invited to participate in mentoring and recruiting efforts. Alumni could help in three ways: post a job if there was one available at their company, hold one-on-one conversations with students, and record programs on topics such as information about the company. industry and job search tips that students can use to navigate an unprecedented time. . Students found solace in speaking with former graduates during the 2008 financial crisis, Reilly says.

The class of 2021 is going to impact the world as they had to be resilient in a way that [other classes] didn’t have to, ”says Reilly. “They faced so much uncertainty.”

See how the schools you are considering have performed Fortune’s ranking of the best full-time executives, and online MBA programs.

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