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Showdown: Find Out if You Should Get an MBA in New York City or Los Angeles

MBA in NYC or LA

The battle for hip-hop supremacy may have ended in the ’90s, but we can keep the East Coast-West Coast beef alive while looking at full-time MBA programs in New York City and Los Angeles.

Both cities are home to top business schools and are ripe with employment opportunities in booming industries. But which is best for you? Let’s take a deeper dive.

Location

We’ll start with location, location, location.

The most bustling city in the country, NYC is is the capital of the business world. More Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here than in any other city. The city is not only home to Wall Street and the world’s largest financial institutions, but also some of the largest media, marketing, and advertising companies. While New York City can be daunting in its size, it’s also furiously expensive to live in, so it may not be for everyone. Getting to know the city’s vast public transportation system is a must and it can get pretty cold in the winter, so if you’re looking for beaches, keep reading.

Meanwhile, LA is Tinseltown. The city’s economy is driven by entertainment industries like television, film, video games, music recording, and production, but also by international trade, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, finance, telecommunications, and tourism. In the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Los Angeles was ranked as having the 19th most competitive financial center in the world, and sixth most competitive in United States. The city is also the largest manufacturing center in the western United States, with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach comprising the fifth-busiest port in the world and a vital trade route within the Pacific Rim.

New York City Full-Time MBA Programs

Full-time MBA Programs in New York City include:

What stands out about these programs?

A Columbia MBA opens up countless career options and is sure to pay off in the long run: The average starting salaries for Columbia MBAs is $104,000, with 37 percent of full-time MBA of graduates being employed in the financial services industry.

Meanwhile, Stern’s MBA curriculum gives students tons of flexibility, and allows degree seekers to choose one or two MBA specializations, NYU allows up to three specializations from 20 plus options.

Both Gabelli and Zicklin’s full-time programs feature cohort-based structures. Gabelli’s program features a New York immersion experience where, over the course of five days, students are exposed to a number of company visits with corporations like Deutsche Bank, Money.net, and Hewlett Packard. As an alternative to completing a major, Zicklin students may pursue a joint JD/MBA in conjunction with Brooklyn Law School or New York Law School.

Los Angeles Full-Time MBA Programs

Full-time MBA Programs in Los Angeles include:

What’s special about these MBA programs?

Anderson features a Business Creation Option for MBAs, which gives students the chance to start their own businesses while still in school. Meanwhile, the Special Project Option challenges groups to tackle problematic issues that impact an entire industry.

Chapman’s full-time MBA curriculum features three main components—core/required courses, a capstone course, and elective courses. Students have several track options available to concentrate their studies, including: Corporate Finance, Marketing, Investment Management, Entrepreneurship, Information Systems in Digital Times, and more.

Graziadio full-time MBA students have the option to spend a trimester abroad in the fall term of their second year at one of Pepperdine’s partner universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or Oceania.

USC MBAs have required study-away coursework called PRIME International Experiential Learning, a 10-day site visit overseas. Students must complete industry—and company-oriented recommendations in capstone projects that incorporate concepts from global strategy and global economics.

At the Drucker School, students may choose two areas of concentration to focus their studies, and select elective within these areas of concentration. Concentrations are offered in: Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Leadership, Global Management, and Information Technology Management.

Jobs and Salary

When it comes to job placement, both New York and Los Angeles have their perks.

New York is home to business school with the highest job placement rate: Around 97 percent of Columbia Business School graduates receive offers within three months of graduation. The school’s class of 2016 boasted an average starting salary of roughly $125,000 plus a $25,000 signing bonus. The top three industries that employ Columbia graduates are financial Services (37 percent), consulting (35 percent) and technology/media (10 percent).

Check out a complete breakdown of NYC salaries and employment opportunities, give our guide to getting paid in New York a read.

While Silicon Valley has a reputation for being the prime place for MBA jobs in California, LA has been catching up recently—and fast. Los Angeles has embraced the tech boom in a big way, with many Valley bigwigs and new startups alike moving their operations to Silicon Beach. With that in mind, the new era of LA innovation is creating some lofty starting salaries, particularly for MBA graduates.

Recent UCLA Anderson graduates earned an average starting salary of $121,250 with a $25,000 signing bonus, according to statistics released by the school. The top five industries to employ Anderson MBAs are in tech (30.6 percent), financial services (21.6 percent), consumer products (13.4 percent), and consulting services (13.4 percent).

Check out our guide to the highest MBA salaries in Los Angeles for more information.

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About the Author

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Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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