MBA Pay By Region: Here’s How Much You’re Worth


It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

…And maybe or you live.

In the right place, at the right time, to the right people. It has always been a formula for success. You will always find MBAs that are headed for action. For aspiring bankers, that means chasing a studio in the Big Apple. Entrepreneurs? Feel free to indulge your inner strangeness in Austin – Stetson and Birkenstocks are welcome. While Silicon Valley and Seattle are revered as tech meccaes, you also can’t go wrong in Raleigh, Atlanta, or Denver.

In the aftermath of COVID-19, the location may appear to be outdated. Just get a Wi-Fi connection and you can run your burgeoning empire from Boise, right? In theory, the Internet is the great equalizer, the forum that brings together like-minded people. In reality, out of sight is always out of mind; the chat room does not have the urgency of the conference room. There is something ineffable about being together every day in person that uplifts everyone involved. There is a shared experience that connects people, sets the tone, sparks ideas, and strengthens the mission along the way.

STANFORD BELOVED ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Despite Delta’s delays, MBAs are coming back to the office. For many, that means moving. It’s a career change decision, which will dictate professional opportunities and relationships. This makes it a factor that MBAs should carefully consider when choosing their next employer. This is also why business schools collect and share their regional salary data with potential candidates.

… Well, not always.

This year, several programs refused to share their data with American News and World Report. This includes five Top 30 programs: Wharton School, MIT Sloan, Columbia Business School, Cornell Johnson, and Emory Goizueta – with Columbia and Cornell abdicating for the second year in a row. The data collected focuses exclusively on the base salary of new MBA graduates. Why so narrow? On the one hand, connection bonuses only count for one year, artificially increasing the remuneration of new MBAs. At the same time, incentives like payouts, stock options, and 401K allowances are often personalized by the company (not to say constantly changing).

In terms of pure base, one school outperforms all others in Class 2020 income: Stanford Graduate School of Business. In the United States, Stanford GSB MBAs achieved the highest average bases in five of six regions. This includes its high ($ 182,843 in the Northeast) and its low ($ 157,500 in the Southwest). Stanford GSB also claims the highest base conferred on any individual student: $ 400,000 (west). In fact, the Mid-Atlantic was the only region where Stanford GSB did not outperform its peers. That’s because he placed too few students in the area, leaving Chicago Booth ($ 165,278) to receive the honors here.

A MEANS OF COMPARISON OF SCHOOLS

Indeed, the absence of a school in a region can serve as a red flag for MBA candidates. Take the University of Texas-Dallas Jindal School, which ranked 31st in this year’s ranking US News ranking. For the past two years, he hasn’t reported a salary in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, or Midwest regions. Instead, wage data has been limited to the southwest and west. Translation: Jindal may not have the same reach of alumni in these areas as peer schools, which could potentially hamper student networking.

However, regional wage statistics have their limits. Notably, regional compensation does not take into account clusters of higher paying firms or industries in particular areas (ie East Coast Banking and West Coast Technology). Plus, you’ll likely find variation in different regions, with bases in Chicago likely to eclipse wages in Des Moines or Omaha.

Nevertheless, Regional Pay serves as a starting point for comparing offers to market rates. What is the average base salary for 2020 MBA graduates from your favorite business schools in some regions? What were the high and low bases they collected? How have these numbers evolved over the past five years? Click on the links below to compare MBA programs side by side in different regions (including International).

NORTHEAST

MID-ATLANTIC

SOUTH

MIDDLE WEST

SOUTH WEST

WESTERN COAST

INTERNATIONAL

GLOBAL REMUNERATION FOR THE MBA PER SCHOOL

2019 REGIONAL MBA COMPENSATION PER SCHOOL

2020 MBA INDUSTRY COMPENSATION PER SCHOOL

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