MBA Salary Average - What Job is Best?

Hey guys,

This topic is not for people who moved from banking to buy side post MBA and make huge sum of money. Assuming if you have a finance background (non-IBD) and go to MBA to change your career, which jobs (non-Investment Banking Associate/non-Strategy Consultant) usually offer the highest base salary? The reasons I am asking this are because:

  1. Not everyone wants to do IBD/MBB post MBA (think people with family commitment, etc.)

  2. My understanding is that only BB and MBB offer lucrative bonus. Most of other post MBA jobs, base salary is still 80-90% of total package.

Highest MBA Salaries

I can think of some options like below:

  • Economic Consultant Associate (Cornerstone Research/Analysis Group etc.)

  • (Senior) Product (Marketing) Manager (Amazon/Google/Microsoft etc.)

  • Senior Financial Analyst (in a Finance Leadership Development Program like Amazon)

MBA Salary Ranges

Is there any other options and which one you want to go with? assuming if you are in a similar situation like me (have a family, don't want to work crazy hours and don't want to travel like crazy etc.).

Comments (67)

 
Oct 26, 2017 - 3:13pm

Option 2. There are some other roles that pay close to that (Liberty Mutual's LDP starts at ~$135k base for what's mostly a 9-5 job) but they are more company-specific. Intel also has a leadership program that pays ~$130k base.

 
Mar 22, 2018 - 11:01am

See "Intel" above. No - I only know of these because people I know went to them. There may be others out there but these don't exactly get publicized as they usually have small classes (Intel's ALDP takes 7-8 people a year).

 
Nov 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

I'm pretty sure that Cornerstone is around $200k all in post MBA.

Tech pays pretty comparably to consulting first year or two out. A lot of folks in investment management make more than bankers or consultants their first few years (or forever...). Hedge funds can be brutal hours but the mutual fund shops can pay I think like $250k-$350k all in with better balance.

 
Oct 29, 2017 - 10:08pm

i heard from some friends that interned that Amazon just bumped up their compensation package for their most recent class of interns. they will start at 185k (130k base, remainder in guaranteed cash/stock bonuses). this for the PM, Finance, Retail and Ops roles. the Technical PM role pays even more, but you need a tech background to land that one.

 
Oct 30, 2017 - 4:26pm

When I graduated ~2 years ago Amazon was at $120k base with $45k stock signing bonus, so this would be about right. Major caveat though - the $45k stock vests in the following manner - 5%, 15%, 40%, 40% over 4 years. The vast majority of MBAs do not collect the full amount.

 
Oct 30, 2017 - 5:57pm

Amazon comp has jumped up quite a bit in 2 years then it seems like. the current offer given to interns was:

base: 130k
cash sign-on: 90k (50k in year 1, 40k in year 2)
stock sign-on: 95k vesting over 4 years (5/15/40/40)

assuming no increase in base salary and no stock appreciation (LOL), comp for years 1-4 looks like this:

Y1: ~185k
Y2: ~185k
Y3: ~170k
Y4: ~170k

 
Nov 3, 2017 - 3:13pm

TVCapital:

2 other options I could think of:

4/(Senior) Equity Research Associate at either sell side (big bank) or buy side (i.e. Sanford C. Bernstein)
5/Consultant at LEK (I heard people work there don't have to travel that much)

What about those 2 guys?

I think ER at Sanford Bernstein paid base of around $140K for post-MBA associates but not entirely sure.

 
Nov 3, 2017 - 2:31pm

Why would you even bother with a MBA from a top school if you want to target those roles? Know a lot of people who leave my current firm to go to those types of roles all the time (at Facebook, Amazon, etc).

Sayonara

 
Nov 4, 2017 - 7:41pm

thats kind of like saying whats the point of getting an MBA to go into MBB/BB, theres plenty of ppl that get direct-promoted into the post-MBA consulting/banking roles at those firms. not everyone is starting off in banking or consulting so everyone has a different reason for why the MBA makes sense to them.

 
Nov 10, 2017 - 1:15pm

I left finance, worked at fintech startup, now at larger firm in a Senior PM role.

No MBA, but i was a decent self taught programmer and got roughly a years worth of engineering experience at the startup before being promoted to full time product. This has helped tremendously in all my interviews including FAANG firms. Had 3 major offers.

I work basically from 8/9-5 M-F, others come in after 9 but I have a team in Beijing to chat with every morning.

Base mentioned is par. Bonus is allover the place depending on group.

WSO Vice President, Data @JustinDDuBois
 
Feb 22, 2018 - 7:46pm

Commuter:

I left finance, worked at fintech startup, now at larger firm in a Senior PM role.

No MBA, but i was a decent self taught programmer and got roughly a years worth of engineering experience at the startup before being promoted to full time product. This has helped tremendously in all my interviews including FAANG firms. Had 3 major offers.

I work basically from 8/9-5 M-F, others come in after 9 but I have a team in Beijing to chat with every morning.

Base mentioned is par. Bonus is allover the place depending on group.

Is this startup called "Wallstreetoasis dot com" ??

 
Feb 26, 2018 - 7:36pm

I know of one Amazon technical product manager from my business school class.

Base: 142k
Cash sign-on: 95k (55k in year 1, 40k in year 2)
Stock sign-on: 120k vesting over 4 years (5/15/40/40)
Performance Bonus: ~20k

Other ideas are corporate finance or product management roles at Silicon Valley firms (e.g., Autodesk, Netflix, Adobe, Apple, Google) or pharma (e.g., Genentech, Gilead) with pay packages north of 150K all-in.

 
Feb 26, 2018 - 9:04pm

UCLA Anderson dude:

I know of one Amazon technical product manager from my business school class.

Base: 142k
Cash sign-on: 95k (55k in year 1, 40k in year 2)
Stock sign-on: 120k vesting over 4 years (5/15/40/40)
Performance Bonus: ~20k

Other ideas are corporate finance or product management roles at Silicon Valley firms (e.g., Autodesk, Netflix, Adobe, Apple, Google) or pharma (e.g., Genentech, Gilead) with pay packages north of 150K all-in.

Do you know the comp packages for non-technical PMs - Finance/Ops etc? Something that mere mortals can do?

Scratch that. I know the answer.

 
Feb 26, 2018 - 8:40pm

wow.. I guess most post MBA jobs outside top tier Ibanking and consulting come with pretty unimpressive comp package. I know many guys working in back office finance clearing 150k all in, with no grad degrees, myself included.

MBA would entail positive ROI for most, if one attends M7 MBA, or a top 20-25 MBA on a hefty scholarship. Outside of these 2 narrow paths, MBA seems to be a risky proposition after all.

 
Feb 26, 2018 - 9:43pm

Probably pretty easily tbh. Corp finance managers at tech companies are at ~200k base or so. If you made it to director level you could easily get to 300-400k for all in comp.

Probably a little lower for other industries, but I would think you could still get to 250k or so just by doing a decent job and slowly working your way up.

 
Feb 26, 2018 - 9:49pm

Interesting.. didn't know in-house corp finance gigs come with rapid comp increases like that. Do you know if part time MBA's can break into tech firms in corp fin / marketing / etc? Part time at Booth / Stern / Kellogg type of places.

Talked to some friends working in top consulting, and they all told me not to do a lower T15 MBA at full sticker price. For MBB, they told me it's really M7+Tuck or bust. If I am to 'settle' for corporate jobs post MBA, I don't think it's worth it to go MBA full time. I might just do part time...

 
Feb 26, 2018 - 11:51pm

its def possible to get in through part time programs but its definitely A LOT more difficult. most part-timers are not looking to switch jobs/careers so some/most schools dont even let part-timers participate in the normal on-campus recruiting events that companies hold for full-time students.

regarding corp fin salary progression: i expect to easily clear 200k within 2 years and 250-275k another 2-3 years after that. idk how long it will take me to get to 300k but i can confidently say i'll be at at least 250k within 5 years of graduating and i think thats a pretty solid spot to be especially considering the hours i work.

as far as whether you should go to a T15 without $$$, idk it really depends what you want to do post-MBA. i went to a school ranked in the bottom half of the T15 and we sent a ton of kids to MBB/BB so the ROI would definitely be worth it there. if you are thinking about corp fin/marketing, then the compensation is obv much lower so the ROI might not make sense even if you go to an M7 school

 
Feb 27, 2018 - 9:19am

This. I think your friends are misleading you about the MBA. It depends on what you want to do, but if you're talking about "top comp" packages I think that universe includes PE/VC, IB and MBB/T2 consulting (if you look at Deloitte, ATK, Strategy& etc their MBA comp packages rival MBB). Almost all schools between 9-15 send ~30% of their grads into those jobs, with a varying mix of IB/consulting depending on the school. Yes, M7 is better, but if you believe you're good enough to get into M7 and succeed then you're good enough to get the same job at a T15 school.

On another note Rejected Monkey , people go to non-consulting/IB jobs after their MBA for a variety of reasons. I did because I find the work I do very interesting and I place a very high value on my work/life balance (a really bad week for me is 45 hours). Others do it for similar reasons, or they have a family and prioritize a low COL area. Sometimes pre-MBA they were in dead-end back-office corporate jobs and moving to a leadership/GM function was only possible through an MBA.

 
Feb 27, 2018 - 7:58pm

Masterz57:

This. I think your friends are misleading you about the MBA. It depends on what you want to do, but if you're talking about "top comp" packages I think that universe includes PE/VC, IB and MBB/T2 consulting (if you look at Deloitte, ATK, Strategy& etc their MBA comp packages rival MBB). Almost all schools between 9-15 send ~30% of their grads into those jobs, with a varying mix of IB/consulting depending on the school. Yes, M7 is better, but if you believe you're good enough to get into M7 and succeed then you're good enough to get the same job at a T15 school.

On another note Rejected Monkey , people go to non-consulting/IB jobs after their MBA for a variety of reasons. I did because I find the work I do very interesting and I place a very high value on my work/life balance (a really bad week for me is 45 hours). Others do it for similar reasons, or they have a family and prioritize a low COL area. Sometimes pre-MBA they were in dead-end back-office corporate jobs and moving to a leadership/GM function was only possible through an MBA.

Good advice and good feedback. I certainly don't question the value of MBA. I am 100% certain that I will do an MBA but the only question is: how do I do that MBA at the minimal cost, while maximizing my odds of executing the desired career switch?

I also just got married recently and logistically, I find it to be a nightmare to go full time MBA in a random location, since my wife works in the city and I don't want to be apart from her. Add the financial / opp costs of full time MBA, and it's no easy decision...

Can I ask you what your view is towards doing a top 25-30 full time MBA with full scholarship?? (as opposed to lower T15 MBA at full sticker debt?) And what about part time MBA at Kellogg / Booth / Stern? My post MBA goal is 1. strategy consulting, 2. I-banking, 3. corporate finance / in-house strategy at tech companies, in that order.

Thanks!

 
Best Response
Feb 27, 2018 - 9:11pm

Dude I feel like you're spinning your wheels here because you are in a crisis of indecision. You have pretty much all the data you need at this point. Since it's not sinking in, I'll make it clear in crisp, consulting like points.

  1. For consulting or banking, school rank is very important
  2. Top 7 schools get the vast bulk of offers, rest of the T15 get about half as many apiece or less, outside of that hiring is very small and almost always regional
  3. Full time M7>Full time T15> Part time Booth/Kellogg, can't opine one whether Stern is as good as the Chicago schools part time. Banking is almost impossible at top BB/EB's part-time, as almost all hiring is done from their internship classes and you can't recruit for internships part time.
  4. The dynamic with your wife is for you and she to decide, if she's willing to move for two years and take a new job, if you want to be apart, or if you are going to take reduced odds for your goals to stay with her. We can't help you with that, but those are clearly the options (number 4, leaving her to bang your way through b-school, doesn't sound like it's up your alley)
  5. Corp fin/in house strategy also has a prestige curve, but you need to look at OCR at specific schools to go there
  6. We can't make your financial decision for you, but I think the landscape of options in terms of career is pretty obvious through this thread (and any other thread on WSO)

You have the info you need, we can't tie the rest for you.

 
Feb 27, 2018 - 7:51pm

i hate audit:

its def possible to get in through part time programs but its definitely A LOT more difficult. most part-timers are not looking to switch jobs/careers so some/most schools dont even let part-timers participate in the normal on-campus recruiting events that companies hold for full-time students.

regarding corp fin salary progression: i expect to easily clear 200k within 2 years and 250-275k another 2-3 years after that. idk how long it will take me to get to 300k but i can confidently say i'll be at at least 250k within 5 years of graduating and i think thats a pretty solid spot to be especially considering the hours i work.

as far as whether you should go to a T15 without $$$, idk it really depends what you want to do post-MBA. i went to a school ranked in the bottom half of the T15 and we sent a ton of kids to MBB/BB so the ROI would definitely be worth it there. if you are thinking about corp fin/marketing, then the compensation is obv much lower so the ROI might not make sense even if you go to an M7 school

Hey thanks for the reply!! Does corp finance / marketing gigs at tech companies require successful MBA candidates to do an internship, before extending full time offers?? In other words, do you guys fill most of your available seats via MBA summer internship program? I know that I-banking positions rely heavily on MBA summer internship pool to fill most, if not all, of their full time incoming associate class. I was wondering if same holds true for in house finance gigs at tech firms. (if true, then yeah, I see how breaking in from a part time program will be very difficult)

Also - do corp finance gigs recruiting at MBA's care about your previous work experience? For example, I never worked in corp finance. Or are they more open to candidates with diverse set of backgrounds? (like banking, consulting, etc)

 
Feb 28, 2018 - 5:16pm

Depending on the corporate leadership/dev program, some of them can get particularly lucrative if you're at a company with solid growth. The highest one I've seen is for a gaming company that pays $190k each of the first 2 years and variably higher depending on the position you take up afterwards.

They also offer perks like corporate housing, sponsorship buyouts (worth a shit-ton for ex-consultants for example), and several other tangential benefits depending on the industry (e.g. 25% off for a luxury vehicle brand and a free car, free flights, etc.)

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