Posted by: Louis Lavelle on November 13, 2008
Our research for BusinessWeek’s 2008 ranking of full-time MBA programs (which will be released at 5 p.m. today) turned up a really interesting fact. While there were many predictions of gloom and doom for students graduating in 2009, those who graduated this year did surprisingly well for themselves.
My colleague, Geoff Gloeckler, compared the post-MBA salaries for the outgoing class of 2008 with those for the class of 2006, the last time we ranked full-time programs. He discovered that the 2008 salaries averaged $104,000, an increase of 9% and the first time that figure topped $100,000 in the history of the BusinessWeek rankings.
These figures—for salaries only, excluding bonuses, stock options, etc.—are for all the schools participating in the ranking, not just the Top 30. (They’re also based on BusinessWeek’s own survey of grads; this data does not come from the schools, and does not represent the entire class, just a big chunk of it.) While the schools that participate change slightly from ranking to ranking, it’s a fairly stable group, so this is pretty close to an apples-to-apples comparison.
When you look at individual schools, the numbers are even more dramatic. Stanford takes the honors with the highest average post-MBA salary, $125K, up from $110K in 2006, while Harvard ($121K), Wharton ($120K), and Dartmouth ($115K) all jumped about 15%. However, not everyone was rolling in the dough. At New York University the 2008 average post-MBA salary topped out at $95K—no change from 2006—while Yale ($97K) saw a very modest 2% increase.
I suspect that when we do the rankings again in 2010 we’ll have a much different (and far more depressing) tale to tell. So enjoy these numbers while you can. The salary data for all the schools will be available at www.businessweek.com/bschools at 5:30 or so, and the rankings themselves will be officially released at a live chat starting at 5—a link to the chat is on the bschools home page. See you there!