Getting Paid: Highest MBA Salaries in Chicago

Highest Chicago MBA Salaries

Like most parts of the country, the U.S. heartland is undergoing a massive shift on all fronts, becoming more urbane, diverse, and open to outsiders than seemingly ever before.

Many communities are becoming increasingly diverse, attracting international residents at an unprecedented rate. Young, urban professional-types who once flocked to the coasts are now moving in droves to Midwestern cities, which were once dismissively filed under “fly-over territory.” Nowhere is this change more apparent than in the Windy City.

Chicago’s long been home to major players in media, education, finance, and food and beverage (shout-out to Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza), but doing business in the city now also means something new. Like most major metropolitan areas, Chicago’s slowly dipping its toes into the tech game; the city’s home to Groupon, Grubhub, Orbitz, and Reverb.

So, take your pick, aspiring MBAs! When it comes to Chi-City, you’ll be a veritable kid in a candy store.

The 5 Highest Chicago MBA Salaries

Northwestern Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern Kellogg School of Management graduates earned average starting salaries between $106,000-$138,000, depending on their chosen industry. According to recent statistics, the four most popular industries to attract Kellogg MBAs were consulting (32.6 percent), where the starting salary hovers around $138,204 with a $29,375 signing bonus. MBAs in tech (22 percent) earned a starting salary of $119,713 with a $23,749 signing bonus. MBAs that specialize in consumer products (13.8 percent) earned an average starting salary of $106,052 with a $26,634 signing bonus. MBAs in financial services (12.8 percent) earned an average starting salary of $128,090 with a $32,100 signing bonus. Top employers of Kellogg graduates include: Adobe Systems, Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Apple, Bain & Co, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Boston Consulting Group, Cisco Systems, DaVita Healthcare Partners, Dell, Deloitte, Facebook, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Linkedin, Mars, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Nike, PepsiCo, among others

DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business

Recent graduates from the DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business posted record employment numbers for the school. According to an overview the school published, 92 percent of 2016 MBAs landed positions within 120 days of graduation. The average starting salaries for Kellstadt’s available MBA concentrations are as follows: Accountancy at $83,000; economics at $90,000; finance at $89,000; management at $83,000; marketing at $75,500; and real estate at $75,000. The most popular industries to attract Kellstadt graduates were accounting, financial services, manufacturing, health care, and consulting. Top employers include: Allstate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, GE Capital, General Mills, Google, Groupon, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, PwC, United Airlines, and Wilson Sporting Goods, among others.

Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business

According to statistics surveying the most recent MBA class, the average starting salary for Mendoza College of Business graduates is $105,000 with a $20,000 signing bonus. About 91 percent of MBAs received job offers within three months of graduation. The most popular industries to attract Mendoza MBAs are within tech (27.1 percent), financial services (18.8 percent), consumer products (14.6 percent), and consulting (11.5 percent). MBAs working in tech earned average starting salaries of around $110,000; financial services, $110,000; consumer products, $100,000; and consulting, $105,000. Top employers of Mendoza MBAs include: Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, PwC, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Discover, Allstate, IBM, Samsung, Amazon, American Airlines, ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Kraft, Hershey, Heinz, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Major League Soccer, United Airlines, General Mills, General Motors, Microsoft, GlaxoSmithKline, and Citibank, among others.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Chicago Booth School of Business graduates earned an average starting salary of $125,000, according to recent statistics. The top industries to attract Booth MBAs are financial services (36 percent), consulting (27.5 percent), and technology (16.7 percent). Booth MBAs working in financial services earn average starting salaries of $125,000 with a $40,000 signing bonus; consulting, $145,000 with a $25,000 signing bonus; technology, $125,000 with a $30,000 signing bonus. Top employers of Booth graduates include McKInsey & Company (7.1 percent), Boston Consulting Group (4.7 percent), Amazon (3.9 percent), Bain & Company (3.1 percent), Accenture (2.6 percent), Google (2.4 percent), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2.2 percent), and PwC Strategy (2 percent).

University of Illinois at Chicago Gies College of Business

On average, Gies College of Business graduates can expect to start their careers in the $90,000 range with a $10,000 signing bonus. According to statistics supplied by the school, MBA grads have a 94 percent employment rate. The most popular industries are technology (20.3 percent), financial services (18.8 percent), consulting (15.6 percent), and consumer products (12.5 percent). Liautaud MBAs who took positions in tech started at $94,000; financial services, $87,857; consulting, $89,125; and consumer products, $95,800. Liautaud graduates work for a broad range of companies, but top employers include AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney, Amazon, Chrysler, Hewlett-Packard, Sears, Google, State Farm, City of Champaign, Bank of America, and Whirlpool Corporation.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.


  1. Avatar

    University of Illinois at Chicago Liautaud Graduate School of Business statistics are for a wrong school…These statistics are for Gies College of Business.

    • Avatar

      Thank you for informing us of the correct data, the piece has been updated accordingly.

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