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MBA Salary, Occupations and Career Prospects (Industry-wise)

MBA Salary, Occupations and Career Prospects (Industry-wise)
A 10 min read

Graduates of MBA programs go on to work in a myriad number of business functions and industries. And the industry’s appetite for MBA graduates is only increasing. But what are the different post MBA occupations that graduates generally get hired into? And what MBA salaries do these different industries pay?

MBA Salary and Occupations (Industry-wise)

In this article, we explore in detail the different industries and occupations MBA graduates get hired into and the salaries offered to them. Here is a brief outline of this article:

  • Why do companies hire MBA graduates?
  • Different Industries that generally hire MBA graduates
  • What roles do these companies offer MBA Graduates?
  • Which are the biggest employers in these industries?
  • What salaries are offered to MBA graduates in these roles?

Why do companies hire MBA graduates?

MBA Salaries - Hiring demand across industries

Before we tackle the above questions, let us spend some time in understanding why companies hire MBA graduates?

While there are significant variations across regions and company sizes, the top reasons employers hire MBA graduates are:

  1. To gain a new perspective
  2. To support company growth
  3. Innovative thinking
  4. Succession planning

4 out of every 5 companies plan to hire MBA graduates in 2018, based on GMAC’s 2018 corporate recruiters survey. Consistent with past years, larger companies are more likely than smaller companies to have MBA hiring plans in 2018. More than 9 in 10 Fortune 100-500 and publicly traded companies plan to hire MBA graduates in 2018.

Start-up companies have reported the largest increase in their 2017 MBA actual hiring rate (55%) and 2018 projected hiring rate (77%).

The strongest demand for MBA graduates is reported in the health care, technology, and energy/utilities industries.

Now that we understand why companies hire MBA graduates, let us look at the different industries that hire MBA graduates.

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Source: Relation between GMAT score and post-MBA salary

Industries that Hire MBA Graduates

The top industries for MBA graduates are:

  1. Consulting
  2. Technology
  3. Private Equity
  4. Investment Banking
  5. Energy


MBA Salary - Industry Hiring Timeline


With its roots in the late 19th and 20th century, the first consulting businesses established in the United States studied manufacturing in an attempt to improve workplace productivity. Since then, the need for consulting services has grown with the expansion of businesses on an international scale along with the type of services they provide.

Types of Consulting

There are 3 major types of consulting firms:

Management/Strategy Consulting:

Management/Strategy consultants solve a multitude of organizational problems. All Management/Strategy consultants require knowledge of management science, strategy, operations, marketing, logistics, mergers and acquisitions, manufacturing, finance, and accounting, etc.

Examples of typical management/strategy consulting tasks include:

  • Recommending a new strategic direction for a growing wireless company.
  • Analyzing why an online retailer is losing market share to a competitor
  • Developing a strategy for a consumer products company to revive a 50-year-old brand and relaunch it worldwide.
  • Creating a new logistical database for a smartphone manufacturer.

Financial consulting:MBA Salary - Organisational Hierarchy

Financial consultants provide advice on handling issues from profit-and-loss reporting to risk management, to financial control and compliance with laws, to capital budgeting and corporate restructuring. Working on these problems can be very rewarding for quantitatively focused people with skills in accounting or financial analysis.

Some examples of financial consulting projects include:

  • Identifying and analyzing potential financial risks and helping clients control their risk exposures and plan for disaster scenarios
  • Applying an individualized financial model to improve a company’s earnings or profits
  • Helping an investment firm identify a strategy to reach a new target market
  • Helping a Fortune 500 manufacturing company determine the expected financial impact of new environmental regulations.

Information Technology Consulting:

Information Technology Consultants utilize their in-depth knowledge of the IT industry, computer and telecommunications hardware and software, and the internet (including social media and cloud computing) to help clients achieve their technology goals.

Examples of services provided by IT consulting include:

  • Assessing a clients existing data-mining software, and providing advice on how to optimize and expand data collection and analysis
  • Helping an online retailer plan for future IT growth and increased capacity requirements
  • Developing and implementing strategies that protect an international bank’s IT system from hacking and industrial espionage
  • Helping a major healthcare system make the transition to a digital record-keeping system.

INSEAD sends more than 40% of its class into consulting. Read this article to learn more about what makes the INSEAD MBA Program unique. Included inside: Detailed analysis of its employment report and school profile.

Top Employers in ConsultingMBA Salary - Consulting Industry 2019 MBA Salary

The top management consulting firms according to 2017 survey are:

  • Bain & Company
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Oliver Wyman
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC
  • T Kearney
  • E.K Consulting
  • Accenture
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • KPMG LLP (Advisory)

MBA Salary offered to Graduates in the Consulting Industry

Employer 2019 Base Salary 2018 Base Salary 2019 Performance Bonus 2018 Performance Bonus 2019 Total Pay 2018 Total Pay 2019 Signing Bonus 2018 Signing Bonus
Accenture Strategy $150,000 $147,500 $30,000 $44,000 $180,000 $191,900 $35,000 $25,000
A.T. Kearney $158,000 $147,000 $44,100 $44,100 $202,100 $191,100 $25,000 $25,000
Bain & Company $165,000 $148,000 $41,250 $37,000 $206,250 $185,000 $25,000 $25,000
Booz Allen Hamilton $140,000 $145,000 $35,000 $36,250 $231,000 $181,250 NA NA
Boston Consulting Group $165,000 $147,000 $45,000 $44,100 $215,000 $191,000 $25,000 $30,000
Deloitte $140,000 $145,000 $45,000 $31,900 $195,000 $176,900 $15,000 $25,000
Ernst & Young $150,000 $145,000 $10,000 $31,700 $160,000 $176,700 $15,000 $25,000
KPMG $150,000 $145,000 $25,000 $25,000 $175,000 $170,000 $35,000 $35,000
McKinsey & Company $165,000 $152,500 $35,000 $35,000 $200,000 $187,500 $30,000 $25,000
PwC $145,000 $140,000 $29,000 $27,000 $174,000 $167,000 $30,000 $25,000
Strategy& $150,000 $147,000 $49,500 $47,040 $199,500 $194,040 $30,000 $25,000


OverviewMBA Salary - Graduate Hiring by Tech Companies

The technology industries appetite for MBA graduates has consistently increased. An average of 22% of the 2017 class of the top 25 business schools chose careers in the Tech industry after their MBA. This is mainly due to the ever-increasing pace of how technology is transforming business and the tremendous opportunities it holds. MBA graduates with both business acumen and technical knowledge are poised to play a huge part in this transformation.

The leading technology association CompTIA projects 5% growth for global tech companies in this $4.5+ trillion sector for the year 2018. This ongoing growth means ongoing demand for talent to sustain that growth.

“Technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple are filling their ranks with more business school grads than ever.” – Alex Min, CEO of the MBA Exchange.

MBA’s are hired into varying roles at technology companies. Product Management, Marketing, Operations, and Business Development are some of the most coveted roles for MBA graduates in technology organizations.

MBA Salary offered to Graduates in the Tech Industry

Following are the salaries offered to graduates venturing into the technology industry after an MBA from the Top-25 business schools according to P&Q rankings:

School 2017 Grads in Tech 2017 Median Salary (Mean) 2013 Median Salary (Mean) Increase
1. UPenn (Wharton) 16.00% $125,000 $115,000 $10,000
2. Harvard Business School 16.00% $130,000 $115,000 $15,000
3. Stanford GSB 25.00% $132,500 ($132,392) $120,000 ($117,408) +$12,500 (+$14,984)
4. Chicago (Booth) 18.70% $125,000 $115,000 $10,000
5. Northwestern (Kellogg) 25.00% $125,000 ($123,780) $119,375 ($118,003) +$5,625 (+$5,777)
6. MIT (Sloan) 26.20% $123,000 ($126,058) $84,000 ($79,152) +$39,000 ($46,906)
7. Dartmouth (Tuck) 20.00% $121,000 ($121,832) $115,000 ($114,346) +$6,000 (+$7,486)
8. Columbia 11.30% $118,000 $103,750 $14,250
9. UC-Berkeley (Haas) 36.90% $125,000 ($124,934) $120,000 ($119,003) +$5,000 (+$5,931)
10. Yale SOM 14.10% $113,179 $112,500 $679
11. Michigan (Ross) 23.60% $120,000 ($119,637) $115,000 ($112,068) +$5,000 (+$7,569)
12. Duke (Fuqua) 19.00% $121,000 ($124,030) $114,750 ($117,583) +$6,250 (+$6,447)
13. Virginia (Darden) 14.00% ($115,358) ($111,817) (+$3,541)
14. Cornell (Johnson) 12.00% ($118,000) ($112,940) (+$5,060)
15. UCLA (Anderson) 31.10% ($121,371) $115,000 ($108,216) NA (+$13,155)
16. NYU (Stern) 16.80% $120,000 ($115,314) NA NA
17. CMU (Tepper) 43.20% $120,000 ($119,638) $115,000 ($110,957) +$5,000 (+$8,681)
18. Texas-Austin (McCombs) 29.90% $112,000 ($113,790) $104,686 ($102,919) +$7,314 (+$10,871)
18. UNC (Kenan-Flagler) 19.00% $115,000 ($109,079) NA
20. Emory (Goizueta) 17.00% $115,000 $97,000 $18,000
21. Indiana (Kelley) 20.50% $106,500 $101,100 $5,400
22. Washington (Foster) 58.00% ($120,408) ($102,722) (+$17,686)
23. Georgetown (McDonough) 13.00% ($105,823) ($95,525) (+$10,298)
24. Notre Dame (Mendoza) 24.70% $110,000 $99,300 $10,700
25. Rice (Jones) 12.00% $105,000 ($109,818) $102,500 ($94,667) +$2,500 (+$15,151)

Technology Companies that hire MBA Graduates:

The following Technology companies extensively hire MBA graduates

  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • IBM
  • Adobe
  • Samsung
  • Dell

Following are the number of MBA hires by leading Technology Firms in the last 5 years

Company Chicago Northwestern MIT Columbia Michigan Duke
Amazon 52 70 97 49 129 48
Google 35 31 45 42 23 23
Microsoft 19 37 28 19 51 68
Apple 29 39 30 13 2 22
Cisco 9 20 NA 2 20 8
Dell NA 4 NA NA 20 11
Samsung 12 8 NA 29 4 16

3. Private Equity


In the broadest sense, private equity is an investment derived from a nonpublic entity or a private company. These investments are generally larger than investments in public companies (Such as the purchase of stocks), with private equity investors sometimes buying entire companies.

In modern private equity, a pool of capital is created from private investors, ranging from university endowments and pension funds to hedge funds, Wall Street investment banks, and high net-worth individuals.

The managers of these private equity pools, or funds, then put that capital to work by purchasing private or public companies, “fixing” them, so they generate more revenue, cash, and earnings. These improved companies are then “flipped,” i.e., sold to another buyer or taken public on the equity markets.

Private equity isn’t just about buying and selling companies. Many private equity firms invest in debt, helping a company salvage itself by loaning it money in exchange for an equity position or another form of return.

Some private equity firms target funds at startups companies – these are called venture capital firms. Venture capital investments are often made in exchange for equity in the private company that the firm hopes will turn into big profits should the startup go public or get sold.

The top firms hiring in the private equity industry are:

  • TPG Capital
  • Carlyle Group
  • Blackstone Group
  • KKR
  • Warburg Pincus
  • Advent International
  • Apollo Management
  • Bain Capital
  • CVC Capital

MBA Salary offered to Graduates in the PE Industry

4. Investment BankingMBA Salary - Investment Banking Salaries by position


Investment Banking (or I-Banking as it is often called) is the term used to describe the business of raising capital for companies and governments and advising them on financing and merger alternatives.

Companies need capital to grow and expand their businesses. Investment banks sell securities (Debt and Equity) to investors to raise this cash. These securities can come in the form of stocks, bonds or loans. Once issued, these securities trade in the global financial markets.

Services offered by Investment Banks include underwriting, asset securitization, structuring corporate mergers and acquisitions and arranging a private placement of debt or equity securities. In addition to the services offered above, investment banks have a wealth of investment products and services which they offer clients through private banking or wealth management divisions. Clients can choose from mutual funds, separately managed accounts, private equity, and hedge funds.

There are many career paths in large investment banks (also called bulge bracket banks) because of their active involvement in every part of a new securities offering. Equity research, fixed-income research, sales and trading, capital markets (the classic mergers and acquisitions area), and asset management for retail (individual investors) and institutional clients (pension funds, government, etc.).

Boutique I-banks, smaller firms that specialize in one or more fields, will concentrate on two or more of these functional areas. Some of these positions offer plenty of mobility, most often from analyst positions into capital markets and asset management.

MBA Salary - Investment Banking

Top Employers of MBA Graduates in Investment Banking

Bulge bracket banks such as Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan Investment Bank, Barclays, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Merrill Lynch employ MBA graduates in Investment Banking. They boast of a global presence and provide the opportunity to work on marquee deals.

Other notable employers in the investment banking industry include Evercore, Lazard, Moelis & Co., and Qatalyst Partners.

5. Energy Industry


The energy industry comprises the companies and people who locate fuel resources, harness them or remove them from the earth, and then process and distribute them for use. It is one of the largest, most dynamic, and often the most controversial industries in the world.

The energy industry is extensive, but it can be divided into 3 primary categories:

  • Energy Sourcing
  • Energy Distribution
  • Energy Transportation

The efforts of the petroleum and gas industries to prolong fossil fuel resources may buy more time for the development of alternative sources, such as solar, wind, and biofuels. Thanks to the interest in alternative energy sources, there are more sectors than ever before in the industry today.

People who want to launch or further a career in the energy industry have some tough choices ahead of them. They can choose to work in any of these sectors (and this is not an exhaustive list; it includes segments of all three divisions of the industry): petroleum and oil, natural gas, electric generation, electric distribution and delivery, solar energy, wind energy, nuclear energy, geothermal energy, biofuels, and energy services and consultation.

Top Employers in the Energy Industry

Top employers in this industry are:

  • Chevron
  • Exxon Mobil
  • British Petroleum
  • Exxon Mobil Corp
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Total SA
  • On AG
  • Schlumberger
  • Schneider Electric

MBA Salary offered to Graduates in the Energy Industry

Median wages for MBA graduates joining middle management positions in the Energy industry are $125,000. Those who join at senior level positions earn a median salary of $165,000.

We hope this article provides you with more information about the MBA occupations and salaries offered to graduates. Please write to us with your questions at

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