The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing and dynamic industries in the U.S and the world. And with technology pervading how traditional businesses function, the technology industry’s appetite for MBA graduates has increased tremendously. Amazon (an e-commerce giant) hired a record 1000 MBA graduates in 2017, beating out consulting firms such as McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co. which bring in about 550 and 500 MBAs respectively.
In this article, we will explore the top MBA Programs for Technology. Following is a brief outline of the article:
- Why is the technology industry a lucrative career option for MBA graduates?
- Technology companies that hire the greatest number of MBA Graduates?
- Top business schools and MBA program for a career in the technology industry
Why is technology a lucrative career path for MBA graduates?
Competitive Salaries and Compensation
For starters, the technology industry offers competitive salaries. This is even without taking into account other compensation such as stock options which are frequently offered by technology companies. According to Transparent Career, salaries at Amazon range from $137,000 for a program manager to $180,000 for a senior product manager, including signing bonuses. By comparison, the average salary plus signing bonus for MBA grads heading into consulting is $165,000; $170,000 for those heading into investment banking.
Entrepreneurial Culture and Flexibility
Besides compensation, tech firms (even those that have grown large) still hold close their entrepreneurial roots. From casual dress codes, a generous amount of paid time off to time to work on passion projects built into the workday. Even career paths are less rigid and innovation more embraced than at consulting giants or big banks.
Thus, a career in the technology industry gives MBA graduates the freedom to work in different business functions and compensation comparable or even greater than other traditional MBA occupations.
Which technology companies hire a large number of MBA graduates?
Technology companies that heavily recruit MBA graduates include Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, IBM, etc.
The following table contains the number of hires made by technology companies at some top business schools in the U.S.
|Company||Chicago Booth||Northwestern Kellogg||MIT Sloan||Columbia||Michigan Ross||Duke Fuqua|
Top 10 Business Schools for careers in the technology industry
Following are some of the employment statistics related to the Best Business Schools for Technology careers.
|Sr. No||Business School name||%age by Industry||Mean/Median Salary||Mean/Median Bonus||Salary Range|
|1||UoW Foster School of Business||60.00%||119,308||N/A||54,989 – 160,000|
|2||Stanford GSB||33.00%||135,643/135,000||31,744/25000||70,000 – 200,000|
|3||Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)||32.40%||121,448/130,000||N/A||N/A|
|4||UC Berkeley (Haas)||31.70%||132,784/130,000||35,337||N/A|
|5||UT Austin McCombs||30.00%||119,003||N/A||N/A|
|6||UCLA Anderson||29.50%||122,693/130,000||35,456/40,000||55,000 – 160,000|
|7||Northwestern Kellogg||28.30%||127,751/130,000||32,013/25,000||30,000 – 180,000|
|8||Michigan Ross||27.10%||125,124/130,000||40,000||73,000 – 158,000|
|9||MIT Sloan||26.70%||133,317/130,000||N/A||115,000 – 199,999|
|10||Dartmouth Tuck||24.00%||127,589/130,000||39,011/35,000||85,000 – 159,000|
Following is a list of the top MBA programs and business schools for a career in the technology industry. Read on to learn more about what makes these schools unique.
- University of Washington Foster School of Business
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Carnegie Mellon University’s: Tepper School of Business
- UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
- UT Austin: McCombs School of Business
- UCLA Anderson
- Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
- Michigan Ross School of Business
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
We cover the first 5 business schools and the reasons for their success in technology placements. Read Part 2 of this article for more information about the next set of 5 business schools.
Best Business School for Technology #1: University of Washington: Foster School of Business
Though it may not be as highly ranked compared to the other schools in this list, the Foster School of business sent an astounding 60% of its 2018 class to careers in the technology industry. Foster graduates opting for a career in technology earned average starting salaries of $119,308.
Location and a Focus on Experiential Learning
Located close to the headquarters of both Microsoft and Amazon and a budding tech startup scene, Foster’s Seattle location is an enviable asset. It allows Foster graduates to pursue a plethora of opportunities provided by the vibrant technology industry located in such close quarters to the program.
Foster also places a great amount of emphasis on experiential learning through internships, strategy projects, and elective courses. These experiential learning opportunities let you apply what you learn in class to help actual local businesses and solve real-world problems.
Foster students can also participate in the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic where they team up with students from the UW Law School to provide early-stage legal and business counseling to local startups.
UW Foster MBA Technology Club
The Foster Tech Club helps students interested in technology careers by leveraging the local tech community and Foster alumni in the tech community to provide educational and networking opportunities.
The Technology Club also helps organize company visits and networking dinners as well as guest speakers on campus. Recently visited companies include Tableau Software, Amazon and Zillow. It also organizes the annual tech trek to the San Francisco Bay Area which includes visits to tech giants such as Google, Facebook, TripIt, and IDEO. The trip also included smaller group visits to companies such as Zynga, Pinterest, Apple, Autodesk, and Salesforce.
Best Business School for Technology #2: Stanford Graduate School of Business
Stanford GSB sent a record 33% of its 2018 MBA class into the technology industry. In its 2018 employment report, the median salary and bonus for graduates taking up a job in the tech industry are $135,000 and $25,000 respectively.
|%age of the class who chose careers in tech||33%|
Stanford GSB’s proximity to Silicon Valley affords it a wealth of tech recruiters within arms reach as well as executives from tech companies that serve as guest speakers, lecturers, and mentors. The experiential learning opportunities offered help students further their careers in the technology industry.
This article takes an in-depth look at Stanford’s Employment Statistics and Class Profile.
Faculty and Experts
The Stanford GSB faculty composed includes leading experts in areas ranging from product design and manufacturing processes to information systems and social networks. Professor Haim Mendelson of Stanford GSB is well known for his ‘Organizational IQ’ concept which measures an organizations ability to quickly and effectively use the information to make decisions.
Dual Degree Option, Research Centers and Student Clubs
Stanford GSB also offers an MS in Computer Science/MBA dual degree option which links two of the university’s world-class programs. It is focused on helping students develop a unique skill set ideal for becoming a manager and/or entrepreneur for new technology ventures.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business is also home to multiple centers and research initiatives, many of which are exploring and studying issues central to the technology industry. The Digital Business Initiative, for example, focuses on questions that can be answered with data and statistics. It explores the best approaches to use data and designing metrics to influence decision making policy, data-driven product design and marketing analysis.
Students can also take advantage of the larger Stanford University ecosystem such as the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, where students and faculty are hard at work building smart algorithms that enable computers and robots to see and think.
Student Clubs such as the Tech Club provides access to employment resources and opportunities to network with tech leaders.
Best Business School for Technology #3: CMU’s Tepper School of Business
Almost a third (32.4%) of Tepper Graduates chose careers in the technology industry in 2018. This would not come as a surprise to those familiar with CMU’s strengths in technology with world-renowned programs in computer science, robotics, and cybersecurity.
Tepper graduates were offered a median starting salary of $130,000. There are several reasons responsible for the success of the Tepper MBA program in helping students succeed in the technology field.
Business Technology Concentration
Tepper MBA students can choose to pursue a specialization in business technology. The concentration encompasses an array of technical and managerial coursework as well as an experiential learning component through applied projects. The combination of coursework and projects helps students prepare for a career in solving business problems using technology and data.
Tepper students can also take advantage of coursework across CMU’s top-rated School of Computer Science, the Software Engineering Institute and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Following are some of the courses in the Business Technology Concentration:
Besides the Business Technology Concentration, Tepper also provides students with the opportunity for an in-depth study in a particular field or career in the form of MBA tracks. MBA Tracks are optional courses and typically consist of 8 – 10 electives and a related capstone project.
Following are some MBA tracks that will be of interest to graduates seeking technology careers post-MBA:
- Business Analytics
- Management of Innovation and Product Development
- Technology Strategy and Product Management
Best Business School for Technology #4: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Its proximity to Silicon Valley coupled with its focus on innovation makes UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business a front runner in grooming graduates for careers in the technology industry. In 2018, 31.7% of its class chose careers in the technology industry. Mean salary and sign-on bonuses for graduates are $132,784 and $35,337 respectively.
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (At a Glance)
|%age of the class who chose careers in tech||31.7%|
|Top Tech Recruiters||Amazon, Adobe, Google, and Genentech|
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Instead of sending students on treks to Silicon Valley to explore tech firms, Haas dispatches students for 15-week long stints to help those very companies tackle real business challenges. Student teams also get the opportunity to work on-site at tech companies such as Cisco, HP, Paypal, and SAP as part of the Haas@Work Applied Innovation project course.
As part of Cleantech to Market (C2M), another experiential learning program, Haas MBA students join graduates from other Berkeley’s other schools to commercialize promising cleantech inventions. These are selected from leading universities, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Department of Energy labs and existing startups.
Technology as an Area of Emphasis at Haas
In addition to the above unique programs, Haas students can also choose technology as an area of emphasis. The wide variety of courses includes everything from high-tech marketing management to the signature Lean Launchpad methodology. In 2015, Haas partnered with Accenture to develop a curriculum around Big Data.
With its proximity to tech firms, Haas is able to draw industry experts for its speaker series. The 2017 lineup of speakers included top executives from Cisco, Microsoft, and Intel. Current Haas executive fellows include Twitter’s Biz Stone, John Hanke (Founder and CEO of Niantic) and Guy Kawasaki (former chief evangelist of Apple and chief evangelist of Canva).
Student Tech Clubs at Haas
Student technology clubs at Berkeley Haas complement the rich technology curriculum by providing networking opportunities and organizing events such as conferences and workshops. Clubs include Haas Technology Club, the Digital Media and Entertainment Club (DMEC), the Haas Innovation and Design Club and the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association.
Best Business School for Technology #5: UT Austin McCombs School of Business
30% of the class 2018 at McCombs School of Business chose careers in the technology industry. This is nearly double the 17% of the class of 2015 that chose careers in technology showing McCombs industry placement strength.
Austin Location & Alumni Network Strength
Similar to the Foster School of Business Seattle Location, McCombs utilizes its proximity to Austin’s strong entrepreneurship culture to drive its success in technology. The schools is also focused on actively strengthening its alumni network in both the Bay Area and Seattle.
The school regularly organizes treks to both the technology hubs which includes visits to companies Amazon and Microsoft (based in Seattle) and Facebook, Oracle, Salesforce, Google and Adobe (located in the Bay Area). Besides these there were additional micro treks focused on gaming and cleantech companies, with groups of 10 – 15 students visiting Zynga, Electronic Arts, TinyCo and Bloom Energy.
MBA Concentration and Research Centers
McCombs’ Information, Risk and Operations Management Department administers several outstanding and nationally ranked programs including the information systems program (ranked #3 by U.S. News).
For students interested in tech careers, McCombs offers the following MBA concentrations:
Each of the above concentration requires students to take a combination of certain core courses and electives.
McCombs also has several centers dedicated to research at the intersection of business and technology. Some of the research centers are:
- Blockchain Initiative
- Center of Business Technology and Law
- Center of Analytics and Transformative Technologies
- Centre for Research in Electronic Commerce
- Healthcare Innovation Initiative
Students choosing careers in Technology at McCombs were offered starting salaries of $119,003. McCombs most recent sample of top employers includes Amazon, Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft to name a few.
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