How much do MBA grads make?

Getting an MBA from a reputed B-School is one of the most solid investments one can ever make in a lifetime. Apart from helping you expand your knowledge base, skill set, and career opportunities, it also prepares you for the highest paying jobs in today’s competitive job market. But, when you take the bold step to commence an MBA course in the topmost institutions of the world, you need more than knowledge and experience to thrive in this new realm of Business education.

Getting admission in any of the top B-Schools involves several hurdles to cross, but the result is what makes your efforts count. All the research work done, writing different application letters for each school, writing essays, and spending days and nights preparing for your interviews with perfection to ace the admission process sums up the life of an MBA Aspirant. 

But, as it’s said, “the bigger the problem to solve, the bigger the rewards.” Top MBA grads are counted amongst the most handsomely paid employees across all industries. The very purpose of living a luxurious life is one of the main reasons people go to business school.

Besides ensuring high annual packages and a good position in a reputed company, an MBA degree helps develop skills necessary for your future endeavors. The MBA curriculum is designed in such a way to help you develop advanced and flexible management skills, leadership qualities, and strategic management. Furthermore, an MBA degree helps you find exposure to profitable business opportunities and helps in providing access to extensive business networks.


The below table enlists some of the highest average packages for MBA grads passing out of top B-School, which would make your whole effort worthwhile. College/UniversityAverage MBA Packages for Salary
1.Stanford GSB$157,460
2.Harvard Business School$151,271
3.Wharton Business School$149,348
4.University of Chicago Booth School of Business$143,950
5.Columbia Business School$142,268
6.Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business $135,184
7.University of Darden-Virginia$139,945
8.London Business School$130,902
9.MIT Sloan School of Management$144,140
10.University of California, Berkeley- Haas $139,423

So, what makes one achieve such high placements? What differentiates you from other MBA grads? What are the significant factors that play a crucial role in deciding your job rank?

Well, to be completely honest, it’s not as simple as it looks. The chances of receiving a high-profile MBA salary package depend upon many factors, including your professional background, academic brilliance, college rank, and many other factors influencing job trends.

Your skills are the first most crucial in determining your MBA specialist salary among all the possible traits. Learning more advanced analytical skills, leadership skills, and increasing the value of one’s professional networks, are some points to ponder, which adds an extra boost to your graduate degree.

This article will discuss all such factors that affect your package in depth while creating an overview of the top and average MBA salary packages at the top B-Schools worldwide.

Let’s jump directly to the point!


Different MBA specialization earns different incomes as per the most recent trends in the jobs market. Furthermore, the modern world jobs market trends keep on changing according to the development of technology. But among them, some specializations are considered the gold standard as they ensure all-time high MBA salary packages. In the below paragraph are some of the Highest Paying MBA specializations and its highest-paying jobs that you can apply for as an MBA graduate.

1. Investment Banker

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A solid educational background in MBA  with a concentration in finance is a prerequisite for being hired as an investment banker since; you have to raise money in the capital markets. The annual salary of an investment banker, depending on several factors, can be as high as $450,000 per year.

2. Financial Manager

After your MBA, you can enter the financial sector, working as a financial manager in any financial institution. All you need is a stronghold on mathematics, statistics, and problem-solving skills. The average starting salary of financial managers ranges from $300,000 to $350,000 per year with increments up to an average of $400,000 per year after a certain period of service.

3. Chief Technology Officer

Managing the technical team and establishing a company’s technical vision, and overseeing every aspect of technological development is the primary objective of a Chief Technology Officer in a company. Therefore, specialization in IT management is crucial to be employed as a Chief Technology Officer, along with sound research and analytical skills. The average annual salary is about $200,000 per year, depending on several factors such as company size and location.

4. Information Technology (IT) Director

IT directors are heads of the company’s IT department, responsible for ensuring that its information technology is effective and secure. The role includes developing and implementing the goals for the IT department, critical analysis of the business and IT requirements, and determining the best usage of technical resources.  Similar to Chief Technology Officer, if you have an MBA degree specializing in IT management, this is the most suitable field for you, with an average annual salary of around $155,000.

Apart from the above specializations, an MBA in Consulting, Financial Services, Technology, Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods or any other stream could help you get the role of an investment bank manager, marketing manager, High-End Management Consultant, Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Manager as well as Health Services Manager.


First of all, let us understand all factors revolving around your job rank and how one can improve and modify their skills and traits according to their professional needs. 

1. Professional background

Before you start daydreaming about these initial high average salaries, there are a couple of essential factors to keep in mind. Among all the elements, one’s professional background can be counted as most critical in determining your average package. For some graduates, the jump from their pre to post-MBA salary won’t be that dramatic. For example, someone from investment banking won’t receive such a hike in their wages post-MBA compared to someone from the teaching or education sector.

2.   Ranking of your college

Usually, you’ll notice that most B-schools that are listed as top 25 schools are the ones with the highest-earning graduates. Although there are exceptions like Vanderbilt University, where MBA Graduates get high packages, comparable to top B-schools, as the rewards are high, so is the competition. Thus, any B-school with the highest-earning graduates is pretty selective, as one might expect.

But fret not! The good thing is you don’t necessarily have to go to a top 10 business school to be ranked in the top 10 average starting salaries and bonuses. Universities ranked lower in the table often enough have a higher average starting salary.

For example, the University of Virginia (Darden) ranked 13th overall has it’s average starting salary and bonus in the top five. Furthermore, the University of Chicago ranked among the top five B-Schools with an average starting salary below the top five.

3.   Post MBA Potential

Someone’s post MBA earning potential is highly determined by their graduation program. Choosing a top MBA program in Finance and Business relations is a factor in determining your post-MBA package. Moreover, a STEM MBA in the 21st century is highly regarded as more and more firms and industries are looking for people with business and analytical skills. Make sure to keep all of these influential factors in mind when selecting your MBA program!

Earning $3000-400K straight coming out of a B-school is not an easy task. Only a handful of MBA grads for the Class of 2019 could accomplish this feat among the MBAs from the top 25 B-schools in the United States.


Finding a job that doesn’t only pay you but inspires you to set your bar of standards higher than any other person is a job search that went well. Graduates passing out from top MBA colleges like the Duke University Fuqua School of Business or the Harvard Business School expect more significant finance, accounting, sales, and marketing opportunities. These are some of the major categories that often secure the highest-paid jobs.

For example, last year, only a graduate from Duke University pulled out an enormous $325,000 for a finance accounting job. In contrast, a Harvard School graduate accepted a marketing & sales position for a starting salary of $315,000.

Furthermore, among the top three HSW MBA schools in the United States, namely the Wharton School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, reported at least one graduate with a salary of more than $300,000.

Other than the Top three MBA colleges in the US, the Kellogg School of Management also reported graduates with a salary of more than $300,000. 

However, surprisingly enough, the last year saw the highest-paid graduate not from the top three colleges of Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton but the Columbia Business School.

 A graduate from the Columbia Business School secured a job in finance with a starting base salary of $375,000, exempting the bonuses or any other compensation. 

Thus, not only was he the highest paid MBA grad of the 2019 class, but he was the single highest-paid MBA graduating in 2018 or 2019 who may be remembered as someone to enjoy the semblance of a regular job search.

Overall, the class of 2019 saw a total average salary for an MBA graduate to be around $130,000, according to several data analysts worldwide. The below table shows data on the Selection percentage of some of the most reputed Business colleges. UniversitySelection Percentage
1.University of Virginia Darden School of Business94.3%
2.Kellogg university92.8%
3.Washington Foster university92%
4.University of Michigan Ross90.1%
5.Columbia Business School70.2%

In the top 25 B-schools, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business was the college that had the highest percentage of graduates with post-graduation jobs, with a rate of 94.3% is selected. While surprisingly enough, the lowest percentage of salary reports came at Columbia Business School itself with a mere portion of 70.2%.

The previous saw both rises in the average package and sign-on bonuses for the MBA graduates with the bonus money averaging over $25,000, including both foreign and domestic students. 

Furthermore, the average salary plus bonus package at the list of top 25 highest paid MBA graduates was around $150,000, with a subsequent increase of more than 5% from the class of 2018.

Amongst the top 10 schools, the average salary for an MBA graduate hiked from the previous year to be around $140,000, from 2018, which indicates a more than 5% jump in the salary package.

There you go! This article will help you understand all the fundamental factors affecting your MBA salary package. Moreover, you can draw an outline of each year’s average MBA salary package along with the rate of increment and decrement for each school. Also, you can understand the placement ratio of the top 25 B-school in detail.

Sure, it’s a lot to process at once and understand all the delicacies; hence, if you want any guidance or questions regarding MBA salary packages and specializations, hop on a 1:1 consultancy call with us! At MBA and Beyond, we strive to help MBA aspirants. Our team of experts will help you get through all the possible hurdles to ensure you get admitted to your dream college. We follow a step-break approach in which we break down the exhausting application process into simple steps to ensure we cover up each detail with perfection, overall drafting a unique application just for you! 

Frequently Asked Questions


Which MBA degree has the highest salary?

To be completely honest, your knowledge base and your skill-set are the primary factors determining your average package. However, being said that, there are some specializations regarded as the Gold standard in MBA. These include an MBA degree in finance or IT or a STEM MBA from any reputed B-School.


How much do MBA grads earn?

It’s crucial for you to understand that qualities like creative and analytical skills, leadership skills, and statistical and logistics skills are vital elements ensuring a high-paying job. Furthermore, factors like company size, location, and work experience also play a significant role in deciding the average annual package. A standard annual package for an MBA graduate ranges from $40,000 to $ 450,000 per annum.


What is the minimum salary after MBA?

The minimum salary of an MBA graduate could vary depending upon one’s interpersonal skill-set and knowledge base. But even so, the most basic Salary for an MBA graduate from a reputed college is relatively high compared to any other graduate ranging around $30,000- $90,000 per annum.

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