Best MBA Schools for Consulting & General Management Careers
How much can you expect to make if you enter consulting or general management as an MBA graduate?
Well, the answer is in according to US News & World Report. Last week, U.S. News reported that the average salary in these occupations exceeded $95,000 in 2017 – with consulting cracking the $100K mark. While consulting and general management are among the highest paying fields an MBA can enter, the harder-to-enter jobs in private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and investment management pretty much pay the biggest first year comp totals for newly minted MBAs.
Impressed? Those base pay numbers don’t paint the full picture. New MBAs in these fields also receive signing bonuses, which can vastly inflate their total salary.
Base Salary vs. Total Compensation
“[Base pay] is the amount per hour or per year that you are paid for performing your job,” Shannon Webster, a contributor for the Houston Chronicle, says. “Base salary does not include any bonuses, benefits or perks associated with the job. It increases with raises or adjustments but remains the yearly or hourly wage paid.”
That contrasts with total compensation, which Webster writes “includes base salary, bonuses, benefits, perks and on-site amenities. Total compensation indicates that an employee is making two or three times his base salary.”
While exaggerated when it comes to MBA pay, it carries some merit. At Harvard Business School, for example, the Class of 2017 earned $220,188 in total compensation. Base salary came in at $137,293. At the same time, $29,855 average base pay was given to nearly 70% of the class. Another 14% of the class received additional compensation, which can range from stock options to travel.
In P&Q’s study of total compensation among b-schools, Stanford Graduate School of Business led all schools at more than $250,000, pushed by a huge “other” comp average of $83,065, which was enjoyed by 25% of the graduating class.
U.S. News also identified schools as larger “feeders” into general management. While a true feeder is based on the number of graduates who enter the field, it is instructive to review U.S. News’ list, which focuses on the percentage of their 2017 graduating class that entered specific fields. US News found Case Western Reserve University to be the largest feeder of MBAs into general management jobs with 55.2% of its graduates going into general management.
For consultants, US News found Yale to be the largest feeder with 50.4% of its graduates going into the consulting industry.
Please note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that graduates from those schools are making the most money in their careers.
When deciding which school to attend based on employment and salary outcomes, it’s important to consider industry. But it’s also crucial to take a closer look at the total compensation to get a full picture of what money you’ll be raking in.