November 28, 2023

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MBA hiring remains red-hot: This No. 2 B-school sees grads land $200K-plus pay packages

BY Sydney LakeNovember 07, 2022, 9:07 PM

Douglas Diamond, Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, speaks to students and faculty members at the University of Chicago, as seen in October 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI—AFP/Getty Images)

MBA employment reports for top business schools have indicated a banner year for 2022 business school graduates. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which Fortune ranks as having the No. 2 full-time MBA program in the U.S., is no different. Booth MBA grads this year saw their median base salaries jump nearly 13% to $175,000 and landed median signing bonuses of $30,000, according to the school’s employment report released last week. 

Like other top-ranked business schools, Booth’s MBA class of 2022 graduated into a hot job market, Stephanie O’Connor, associate dean of career services at Booth, tells Fortune.

“We hear from firms that Booth students are well prepared to hit the ground running,” O’Connor says. “Through their course work and leadership experiences, Booth students take on functional roles that demonstrate the value of an MBA, such as investment banking, consulting, and product management.”

The top three industries pursued by Booth graduates are consulting, finance, and technology—all of which saw median base salary increases for new hires. In 2022, more than 35% of Booth’s full-time MBA class took a job in consulting, while about 35% went into financial services, and 15% pursued tech jobs.

“Movement in base salaries in three key industry sectors—consulting, financial services, and technology—explains much of the increase in compensation packages,” O’Connor adds.

Top hiring industries for Booth MBA grads

Consulting has long been the idyllic career for Booth grads, with about 35% of the class pursuing a job in the industry for several years. This year, median salaries jumped $10,000 to $175,000, and median bonuses stayed at $30,000. 

It’s no surprise that the median base salary for consulting grads at Booth land at $175,000. Top consulting firms including McKinsey & Co., Bain & Co., and Boston Consulting Group this year announced bumps in their starting salaries for MBA grads. 

In 2022, starting base salaries for new MBA grads at the three firms was $175,000. And next year, they’re going to continue to increase: Bain and McKinsey will offer $192,000 base salaries and BCG will offer $190,000. The top three major employers of Booth’s MBA class of 2022 were McKinsey (61 hires), BCG (53 hires), and Bain & Co. (28 hires), according to the school’s employment report.

This increase in base salaries is the result of a “really hot job market” for MBA grads who have a lot of career opportunities available to them, Keith Bevans, a partner in Bain’s Chicago office, previously told Fortune. 

“They have more options than they’ve ever had, and they’re well paying options,” he explains. “We consider our value proposition as an important part of what it means to be—and stay—the best place to work. Comp is one part of the value proposition.”

Median salaries for Booth MBA grads who took a job in financial services also jumped a whopping $15,000 between 2021 and 2022 to $175,000. Investment banking and diversified financial services salaries remained flat, O’Connor says, but the median salaries also rose for private equity and investment management. Plus, the median sign-on bonus for financial services jobs was $50,000, meaning that these grads landed $225,000 pay packages right after graduation.

Tech students were in high demand this year, O’Connor says, and their salaries increased $13,000 between 2021 and 2022 to $146,000. Other top business schools that saw a jump in median base salaries, including New York University (Stern), saw a larger share of their full-time MBA students enter the tech field. 

How to get into Booth’s full-time MBA program

Booth is one of the most competitive and most coveted full-time MBA programs in the U.S. The acceptance rate for the program is just about 22%, and students have an average GMAT score of 732 and a 3.54 undergraduate GPA. 

Fortune recently spoke with officials and MBA admissions coaches to learn more about how to get into Booth’s full-time MBA program. Some of the tips include not fixating on test scores, being thoughtful about recommenders and essay responses, as well as thinking strategically about your application, according to previous Fortune reporting. 

In terms of cost, the tuition per year for the two-year program is just over $77,000. But when you factor in other costs such as living expenses and student services, it will require an investment of about $115,000 per year, according to Booth’s full-time MBA cost of attendance site. Comparatively speaking, tuition at Harvard Business School (ranked No. 1 by Fortune) is about $73,000 per year not including other expenses, and tuition at Northwestern University (Kellogg), which is ranked No. 3, is over $78,000 per year for the two-year full-time MBA program.

Check out all of Fortune’s rankings of degree programs, and learn more about specific career paths.