2018 Trends: How Much Can You Get Out of a Boston MBA?

Boston, the largest city in New England, is often considered the academic, economic, and cultural center of the Northeastern United States. Beantown is also considered one of top college towns in the country thanks to its numerous esteem colleges and universities. Lots of that talent sticks too: Forbes ranks the city as one of the best places for business and careers.

Let’s take a look at some employment trends from a few of the Boston metro’s top business schools Harvard Business School, the MIT Sloan School of Management and Boston University Questrom School of Business—and see how MBAs fare in the job market following graduation.

Harvard Business School

The latest HBS employment report shows, unsurprisingly, some very positive numbers for recent graduates. According to the statistics, 95 percent of students received a job offer by the time they graduate, with 89 percent accepting an offer. Recent graduates earn a median base salary of $135,000. Of those accepting offers, 66 percent received a signing bonus, which averages a boisterous $25,000.

Harvard graduates mostly end up working in three industries: Consulting (23 percent), finance (31 percent), and technology (16 percent). Students with advanced degrees from Harvard have inside tracks at prestigious companies such as McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group.

Most Harvard Business School graduates—44 percent of them to be specific—take jobs in the Northeast. The destination with the second highest percentage of graduate job accepting rates is the West, with 25 percent of graduates. While 87 percent of students remain in the United States, 13 percent end up taking jobs overseas, mostly in Europe (5 percent) and Asia (4 percent).

To help students achieve their career goals, Harvard Business School’s MBA Career & Professional Development (MBA CPD) focuses on providing students with a variety of resources to encourage their professional, leadership and career growth. MBA CPD initiatives include one-on-one coaching with a trained career coach as well as career development workshops, which help students find their preferred career path and navigate the recruitment and job search process. Recruiting events—such as on-campus company presentations, networking events and interview days—are also regularly scheduled on campus.

Harvard has also released detailed charts that show how the salaries of Harvard Business School graduates changes based on their industry, function, and location.

Sloan School of Management – MIT

Meanwhile, the MIT Sloan School of Management’s MBA Employment Report offers a snapshot of all recent graduates’ career choices and salaries. According to the figures provided in that report, 90.1 percent of students received a job offer at graduation, while 97.1 percent received one within three months of finishing their studies. Of these students, 84.2 accepted those offers at graduation, while 97.1 percent did so within three months of graduation. Newly employed Sloan MBAs earn a median base salary of $125,000 per year.

MIT Sloan’s report shows that graduates mostly end up working in four industries: consulting (32.1 percent), tech (31.8 percent), finance (13.7 percent), and healthcare (5.3 percent). Ecommerce monolith Amazon hired the most Sloan MBAs (30 students), with McKinsey & Company (26 students) and The Boston Consulting Group (26 students) rounding out the top three employers. This is a moderate change from the previous year, in which McKinsey & Company hired the most Sloan MBAs (26), while Amazon (23) and Bain & Co. (17) came in second and third place, respectively.

Since 2014, more and more Sloan MBA graduates have earned roles in the tech industry. The aforementioned 31.8 percent figure was the highest in recent history, which can be seen below.

Statistics via MIT Sloan 2016-17 MBA Employment Report.

Like Harvard, most Sloan MBAs accept jobs that keep them in the Northeast (37.8 percent). Others leave for the West (34.4 percent), with smaller percentages settling down in the Midwest (4.4 percent), Southwest (4.2 percent), Mid-Atlantic (3.4 percent) and South (3.1 percent). A number of students (10.9 percent) accept jobs overseas.

Sloan’s Career Development Office (CDO) offers a range of resources and services to the school’s full-time MBA students. Career prep is actually built into Sloan’s first-year required core curriculum, including a mandatory “Career Core” course. The course is run in conjunction with CDO staff, covering essential career-related communication skills like interviewing, negotiating and networking.

Questrom School of Business – Boston University

At Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, 91 percent of students seeking employment accepted an offer within three months of graduation. According to the most recent Questrom’s employment report, these graduates earn an average base salary of $95,471.

Of these students who get hired, 30 percent go into consulting service jobs, 20 percent go into general management, and 16 percent go into marketing & sales. Only 11 percent accept finance positions. Employers who have hired 2017 Questrom MBA grads include Deloitte, IBM, Merck, PwC, and local sports organizations like the Boston Celtics.

Employment figures from the Questrom Class of 2017 were slightly different from their 2016 counterparts, with most of the students from that graduating class entering the healthcare industry (25 percent), while consulting (22 percent) and technology (15 percent) trailed close behind. The mean base salary of the close also took a moderate dip, dropping from $102,500 the year prior to $95,471.

More so than any other school we’ll be taking a look at in this post, BU students stick to the Northeast when accepting a job—69 percent of 2017 graduates remained in the region, with 12 percent heading West. Only 6 percent moved South, and 1 percent took opportunities in the Midwest. Around 12 percent took their talents overseas.

All MBA students begin working with Questrom’s Feld Career Center (FCC) during their Pre-Core week in their semester. All students are required to pass the MBA Career Management course that focuses on helping students develop key professional skills and preparing them for internships and the job search process. MBAs also work with a dedicated career counselor who offers one-on-one coaching and strategy sessions. The FCC also hosts career fairs, employer information sessions and other smaller on-campus recruiting events.

Boston MBA Employment Future Outlook

It’s no real surprise that students earning their MBA from an elite school like Harvard or MIT will, on average, earn more than their counterparts from Boston University, but it is encouraging to see job offer rates from all aforementioned schools above 91 percent. It also comes to no surprise that most MBAs from these schools get hired into the consulting, finance and tech industries. Most of these students also get hiring in the Northeast, especially those who graduate from Boston University.

If there’s one thing that Harvard, MIT and Boston University have in common, it’s the great career services that each offers to their students. Whether it’s the MBA CPD, CDO, or FCC, MBAs choosing any of these school will have a great support system in place to achieve their career goals.


About the Author

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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