Apply to these MBA programs to get the highest starting salary

2021 has showered us with some good news after all. Graduates from a record number of MBA programs in the U.S. reported ample new career opportunities with high salaries and lucrative sign-on bonuses despite hiccoughs in our global economy brought on by a worldwide health crisis. Poets & Quants has just released what they believe to be the most accurate breakdown of the MBA programs recent graduates can get the most out of their investment with.

The 11th annual Poets & Quants best-of list for most promising MBA programs looked at five credible sources that ranked the top business schools. Some sources are more viable than others and they took that into consideration by giving data and statistics from the U.S. News a weight of 35% accuracy, Forbes 25%, Financial Times 15%, Businessweek 15%, and The Economist a 10% weight for accurate reporting.

After mining all the data these institutions offer the best opportunities for MBA graduates to apply their learned skills in the real world.

The best opportunities for graduates looking to make more

Ranking number one for the best MBA programs the U.S. has to offer is Stanford Graduate School of Business. The base salary for Stanford Graduate School of Business alumni ranks the highest compared to other institutions at a substantial $159,544 starting salary. Not too shabby for someone straight out of college.

The 5 schools that were close seconds when it came to gainful employment reflecting respectable salaries at a median of $150,000 were the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Columbia Business School.

The Northwestern School of Management ushered graduates into positions that offered an average base salary of $144,000. Finishing off our list for best MBA programs to embark upon that will guarantee graduates a handsome year-end salary is Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business where graduates have the potential to earn $143,867, NYU Stern School of Business graduates who are projected to earn $143,858, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumni take home $139,954 per year, and last on the list is Berkley Haas wherein completion of this program guarantees graduates that find employment in the business world a respectable $139,122 per year salary.

Graduates can find solace in a career path made possible through completion of any of the following MBA programs that weathered the most unpredictable of times in 2020. There were a few reasons why these specific institutions fared better than others and a big one is because they had former alumni and staff in their corner to help guide them through the arduous process of landing their dream job. Let’s find out who those behind the scenes superheroes are.

Who is behind it?

Poets & Quants held an interview with Doreen Amorosa, the associate dean for McDonough Career Services, to find out how alumni and staff helped secure employment for their students. Georgetown McDonough placed 24th out of the 25 best MBA programs overall based on growth regarding salary and bonuses offered to graduates.

Doreen Amorosa adds the following additional qualifiers, apart from median salary and sign-on bonuses, for what really sets an MBA program finished at Georgetown Mcdonough apart from competing programs. “Dean Paul Almeida asked our McDonough Alumni to support MBA students still seeking jobs and internships. In the following weeks, over 200 of them stepped up with job and internship postings, virtual consulting projects, assistance with technical training and mentorship. Second, 75 percent of our graduates went into industries where they either had an opportunity to convert their summer internships or accept a new full-time offer before the pandemic began.

From the internship perspective, 50 percent of them went into consulting or finance functions. These opportunities were largely secured prior to the pandemic. Third, having been a former corporate recruiter, I understand the intricacies of ‘just-in-time recruiting.’ Each year, we kick off our just-in-time recruiting process in January. Students refresh their target company lists, and immediately re-energize their networking efforts. By doing this, they are ready to apply for roles and internships in early March. To the extent that hiring was still going on in April, they were already well into the recruitment cycle and this served them well.”

This interview should serve as a reminder that while searching for the right MBA program you should not only consider an impressive base salary and hefty sign-on bonus as the only incentive for applying. Reach out to alumni past to glean the validity of internship programs that more often than not offer employment for those that took advantage of opportunities to network within mentoring programs and summer internships. It truly takes a village to get to where you want to go in your career. Don’t hesitate to do your research on the programs that will guarantee job placement as soon as you graduate so you don’t default on those student loans.

If you’d like to find out more detailed information about the best MBA programs offered here in the U.S. check out the full breakdown on the Poets & Quants website here.