Foster Enters Top 10 for Total MBA Earnings

Foster School of Business MBA student interning at Microsoft

When total MBA earnings include average bonuses, stock options, and moving expenses, the Foster School of Business rises to #9 of the top 50 schools ranked in U.S. News & World Report. The analysis of average total MBA compensation by Poets & Quants shows an aggregate of average salary, bonus, and other compensation reported for U.S. News’ 2019 Best Business Schools Rankings.

Foster graduates were especially competitive with their elite peers for average bonuses, which increased $10,000 from the previous year. More than 75% of Foster MBAs received a bonus averaging $31,570 and other compensation averaging $25,462. Added to salary, Foster grads’ average total MBA earnings of $177,936 surpassed Dartmouth, Michigan, Virginia, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, and Yale.

Strong economic growth has increased MBA hiring nationwide, with 40 of the top 100 business schools reporting 90% placement within three months of graduation. Among the top tier, the Foster School achieved the highest placement rate–98.1%–with the majority of graduates entering technology and consulting careers.

Avg Total
Earnings Rank
Overall U.S. News Rank & SchoolAvg Total CompensationAvg SalaryAvg BonusAvg ‘Other’% Reporting Bonus% Employed 3 months after Graduation
14. Stanford$257,054$144,455$29,534$83,06550.70%87.60%
29. Columbia$221,036$129,096$34,481$57,46068.20%89.30%
31. Harvard$220,188$137,293$29,855$53,04069.50%89.30%
43. Penn (Wharton)$209,501$135,716$31,214$42,57177.20%92.60%
51. Chicago (Booth)$200,415$129,442$30,469$40,50471.00%95.30%
65. MIT (Sloan)$184,289$128,301$27,872$28,11672.30%93.90%
76. Northwestern (Kellogg)$182,083$128,192$28,469$25,42263.50%92.60%
813. NYU (Stern)$181,457$121,146$33,134$27,17775.10%91.30%
922. Washington (Foster)$177,936$119,904$31,570$26,46275.30%98.10%
1010. Dartmouth (Tuck)$177,842$127,986$30,208$19,64882.20%91.80%
117. Michigan (Ross)$177,175$124,702$30,866$21,60782.10%94.40%
1213. Virginia (Darden)$176,461$124,684$31,966$19,81190.40%90.10%
1317. CMU (Tepper)$175,191$119,402$30,101$25,68886.60%88.60%
147. UC-Berkeley (Haas)$174,571$125,572$27,926$21,02375.80%89.90%
1520. USC (Marshall)$172,627$118,110$28,406$26,11162.30%93.60%
1611. Yale SOM$170,243$119,371$28,747$22,12561.90%90.50%
1720. Emory (Goizueta)$164,223$119,665$27,534$17,02486.20%92.70%
1816. UCLA (Anderson)$162,019$119,964$29,073$12,98273.00%88%
1917. Texas-Austin (McCombs)$161,600$117,185$28,280$16,13581.30%89.90%
2015. Cornell (Johnson)$157,182$125,578$31,604NA84.30%90.90%
2119. UNC (Kenan-Flagler)$154,569$111,082$23,706$19,78186.00%90.80%
2211. Duke (Fuqua)$153,363$122,989$30,374NA81.90%92.60%
2335. BYU (Marriott)$151,730$102,534$19,825$29,37185.20%89.40%
2423. Rice (Jones)$151,275$113,349$27,254$10,67267.80%94.00%
2523. Washington-St. Louis (Olin)$149,407$106,812$24,440$18,15576.10%97.20%
2628. Georgia Tech (Scheller)$149,113$106,115$25,378$17,62074.00%93%

Source: Poets & Quants analysis of U.S. News & World Report data

A top school for technology, consulting recruitment

The tech industry’s demand for MBA graduates also grew quickly, with 19 of the top 25 programs reporting increases in tech hires over the previous year. In a Poets & Quants study of technology firms’ top business schools for recruitment, Foster is the only top 25 business school to send more than half (58%) of its MBAs into the tech sector. Companies including Amazon, Concur, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, T-Mobile, and Zillow hired the majority of 2017 Foster graduates at a median salary of $120,408. Tech MBAs from 18 of the top 25 schools saw an average median salary increase of $9,901 between 2013 and 2017. In that same timeframe, Foster alumni median salaries in technology increased $17,686.

Nearly a quarter—23% of the Foster MBA class–accepted consulting positions at firms such as Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte Consulting, Hitachi Consulting, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, and Point B—a percentage higher than Stanford, Berkeley, and UCLA. According to Foster School MBA Career Management, graduates in working in consulting earned an average salary of $129,017.

High ROI

In addition to increasing career opportunities, many MBA graduates also report rising debt loads. U.S. News business school profiles show that average debt exceeded $100,000 in several MBA programs and averaged more than $90,000 at the top 25 schools. In contrast, Foster graduates carried an average debt load of only $45,045 and benefited from the most affordable nonresident tuition of a top-25 school. The Financial Times recently ranked the Foster MBA as #5 in the U.S. in value for money in its Top MBAs for Women ranking.

Poets & Quants analysis shows that the Foster School has the best value added ratio of graduating salary to out-of-state tuition (2.52) of the highest-ranked schools. In Poets & Quants “How Top 25 MBA Programs Compare on ‘Value-Added Ratio,’” the median for a top 25 program is now 1.93.


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Foster #13 in Financial Times Top MBAs for Women ranking