The Future of Employment at Philly Business Schools

Philly Business Schools

When considering where to get your MBA, one of the first questions you should ask is, “What will my employment outlook be?” After all, the reason you get an MBA is to improve your career. But what is important when it comes to employment trends at the leading business schools in Philadelphia? There are quite a few different statistics you should look at.

Important MBA Employment Statistics

To choose an MBA program based on your future career success, there are a few questions you need to answer.

  • What industry do I want to work in and does the school place a majority of their students in that industry?
  • What percentage of students receive and accept job offers? The same for internships?
  • Self-employed or entrepreneurship data?
  • What salary can I expect?
  • Where do most students end up living and work?
  • Who are the top employers?

You also want to look at any trends between years. For example, the percentage of students receiving job offers should increase year-over-year. And if you see a shift from the consulting industry to financial services, you want to be aware that the school could be changing its direction.

So, what does employment look like for three of the top Philly business schools?

The Wharton School

At the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the employment trends year-over-year are fairly consistent. While the percentage of students reporting job offers dropped from 2016 to 2017, part of that reason may be the increased number of students seeking employment (75.2 percent vs. 79.1 percent).

As for the increase in median salary, that can be attributed to inflation as well as an increase in job salary for each industry including professional services rising from $160,000 in 2016 to $180,000 in 2017. The location of jobs also changed slightly between 2016 and 2017, but that could be due to various reasons including the current state of international affairs for the U.S. 

The Wharton School20172016
Percentage of students reporting job offers97.1 percent 98.3 percent
Percentage of self-employed students or those starting their own business 4.8 percent5.8 percent
Median Salary $130,000$125,000
Location Choices 88.7 percent U.S.

11.3 percent International
86.9 percent U.S.
13.1 percent International

As for where MBA students at the Wharton School gain employment, there are a few important notes. The same top three industries—financial services, consulting, and technology—attracted students in both 2016 and 2017. However, the percentages were a little more evenly distributed in 2017. As for the companies hiring students, most of the same companies showed up each year.

Top Three IndustriesPercentage of Students (2017)Percentage of Students (2016)Companies Employing Two or More Students (2017)
Financial Services32.7 percent35.1 percentBarclays, CITI, and HSBC
Consulting28.3 percent26.6 percentA.T. Kearney, McKinsey & Company, and Boston Consulting Group
Technology16 percent12.6 percentAdobe Systems, Amazon, and IBM

Penn State Smeal College of Business 

Pen State’s Smeal College of Business is consistent year-over-year in regards to its MBA employment trends. The percentage of student reporting and accepting job offers increased between 2016 and 2017 from 88.9 percent to 91.5 percent. However, the median salary stayed consistent at $105,000, and the hiring trend of most MBA students staying in the U.S. also remained the same.

Penn State Smeal College of Business20172016
Percentage of Students Reporting Job Offers91.5 percent88.9 percent
Median Salary$105,000$105,000
Location(s)98 percent U.S.

2 percent International
96.5 percent U.S.

3.5 percent International

As for where MBA students at Smeal College gain employment, there are a few important notes. While the same industries made the top four each year, where they placed changed. In 2016, the top industry was consulting (25 percent) while that changed to manufacturing in 2017 (20 percent). In 2017, retail also moved into tie consulting for the second most sought-after industry, while technology actually decreased year-over-year (23 percent vs. 15 percent).

Top Four IndustriesPercentage of Students (2017)Percentage of Students (2016)Companies Hiring
Consutling18.5 percent25 percentDeloitte, EY, and PricewaterhouseCoopers
Technology15 percent23 percentAmazon, Apple, and Dell
Manufacturing20 percent14 percentAmphenol Corp, CHEP, International Inc.
Retail18.5 percent14 percentAnheuser-Busch, Proctor & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson

Rutgers Business School, Camden

In 2017, the Financial Times ranked the Rutgers MBA as the best program for MBA employment across Big 10 schools. In 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek also ranked Rutgers as the best MBA program for job placement in the U.S. This indicates a relatively steady year-over-year employment trend for MBA students.

As for the median salary of a Rutgers MBA, students in 2017 could expect to earn $95,680. As for the most popular industries, they were:

  • Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Healthcare: 46 percent
  • Consulting: 13 percent
  • Consumer Products: 13 percent
  • Other: 14 percent


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