STEM PhD to MBB-- What's the Point?
Hi Folks. I am a PhD candidate in a STEM field at Stanford. I've decided that academia is not for me, so I have been exploring various career options. It seems the two most reasonable options for me are management consulting and R&D at a DuPont/3M/Dow Chemical. I've been working hard on getting the case studies down, but I've recently asked myself "What's the point?"
A post-PhD MBB consultant makes, say, $200k all in. R&D scientist is closer to $80-90k. No brainer so far. However, the difference between the two career paths seems to really drop after the two-year stint in MBB. A Glassdoor search for "strategy manager/senior manager" shows that a typical Fortune 500 manager in strategy makes about $110k-130k. This seems like a pretty typical exit position for an MBB consultant.
Now a $30k difference between the two paths is nothing to sneeze at, but it isn't life changing. And I imagine that R&D is a lot more interesting than "Senior Manager of Midwest Operations" or other middle management. Am I missing something here? Maybe my numbers are off or perhaps MBB alumni shoot up middle management quickly while the scientists and engineers languish. What do you all think? Thanks!