MBA Programs Report 2009 Placement and Salary Data

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on October 30, 2009

Our recent story on MBA salaries analyzes the post-crisis job market for BusinessWeek’s top 30 U.S. MBA programs. As a few people have pointed out in the comments, employment numbers for the unranked programs are missing.

The reason you don’t see them is that many schools that don’t make it into the ranking don’t report complete information to BusinessWeek for their online profiles. However, we do have some additional numbers for the unranked schools that are illuminating. Unfortunately, not every program in this category submitted employment data and others submitted numbers that raised some red flags with us, so take these averages with a grain of salt.

For 42 of the unranked schools that submitted sufficient data, the average rate of students not reporting job offers (usually the reporting cutoff is in the fall) was 22%. Last year, the overall average was 12%. Some schools fared better than others, but among the hardest hit were Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business, the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business , the Howard University program, and American University’s Kogod School of Business —all reporting more than 40% of students never getting an offer.

For context, the number of graduates of top 30 MBA programs not reporting a job offer three months after graduation was 16.5% in 2009, up from 5% last year.

What these data seem to show is that the rate of job offers declined about 10 percentage points across the board this year in the U.S. That may not be surprising for unranked schools, but it’s not what you might expect given the reverence some top schools command.

A possible explanation is that, contrary to popular belief, cachet won’t save you in times of trouble. Alternatively, it could mean that lower-tier schools caught employers’ eyes by accepting lower salaries. The 2009 starting pay for the unranked schools we looked at was about $78,000, with about 40% of those who accepted jobs getting signing bonuses. For the top-tier schools in 2009, starting pay was close to $96,500, with roughly 65% reporting signing bonuses.

Internationally, however, the picture was markedly sunnier. Though many of the 25 schools considered for BusinessWeek’s non-U.S. ranking did not report their employment data, and others reported implausible data, in terms of final job offers reported, most programs seemed to hover around the range of 90% of students getting at least one in 2009.

A few came in much higher, though one, top-ranked Queen’s School of Business in Ontario, reported a staggering 48% without an offer. The average salary reported at international schools was about $94,500 and the average number of students who accepted jobs who got signing bonuses was 33%.

One last thing: if you click on any of the school links included in this post, you’ll be directed to the school’s 2008 full-time MBA profile on the BusinessWeek web site. The 2009 profiles, which contain the offer, salary, and signing bonus data reported here, won’t be ready for another week or so.

—Anne VanderMey

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