It is given that getting an MBA degree will help you climb up the career ladder and earn a better salary than you would without an MBA. But, as always, things are not so black and white. The salary you will earn after completing a general MBA and a specialized MBA will definitely not be the same, and there are multiple factors that will affect the salary you earn.

So, it is obvious that before you spend a large sum of money on a top B-school you would want to calculate your return on investment (ROI). With a six-figure price tag, going to business school is undoubtedly an investment, one that many MBA candidates hope will help them advance in their career.

Top Industries for Highest MBA Salaries

While an MBA can help you stand out in the crowd and kick-start a successful executive career, it’s important to note that MBA grads make different amounts depending on the industry they’re in.

Here are the top 10 industries paying MBA grads the highest salaries, according to U.S. News’ data.

1 Consulting $140,187
2 Financial Services $130,001
3 Technology $120,784
4 Retail $115,370
5 Real Estate $112,086
6 Healthcare $109,866
7 Media/Entertainment $108,849
8 Energy $108,547
9 Consumer Packaged Goods $108,328
10 Manufacturing $102,867


Top B-schools for Highest MBA Salaries

But, what about the top B-schools that you should be targeting for finding the best ROI on your MBA program? Read on to find out!

1.     Booth, University of Chicago

Average Graduate Salary: $145,000

The Chicago Booth School of Business grants its graduates one of the highest rate of job placement levels with over 95% of graduates accepting full-time offers within three months of graduation!

The programs at Booth focus on developing problem-solving skills as well as sharpening students’ analytical thinking ability. Programs at Booth include full-Time, part-time and executive MBA Programs. Students may choose from nearly 50 open-enrollment programs worldwide or create their own custom program.

2.     Tuck, Dartmouth College

Average Graduate Salary: $139,046

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business lays claim to one of the best job placement rates in the country. According to their website, Tuck graduates experience employment levels and compensation rates for Tuck’s class of 2020 at or near the highest of those of the top MBA programs worldwide.

 Tuck School of Business chalks these achievements up to its superlative careers service, which helps prepare students for the rigorous demands of the working world. Learners can take inspiration from the successes of some of the school’s alumni – among them Christopher A. Sinclair, former CEO of both Mattel and PepsiCo and Janet L. Robinson, one-time president and CEO of The New York Times Company.

3.     Kellogg, Northwestern University

Average Graduate Salary: $138,052

For those wanting to broaden their business horizons with overseas opportunities, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has options. Although the school is primarily based in Evanston, Illinois, it nevertheless has several partnerships with academic institutions across the globe, affording MBA students the chance to hone their business skills on any one of six continents.

It’s perhaps appropriate, then, that Kellogg counts leading travel industry entrepreneurs such as Kayak founder Steve Hafner and HotelTonight CEO and co-founder Sam Shank among its alumni. Kellogg has been called “the lead investor among its peers in promoting the development of female leaders.”

The internship outcomes for Kellogg Full-Time MBA class of 2020 showcases strong demand for the talent, and diversity in range of employers of graduates expand from startups to Fortune 500 companies!

4.     Wharton, University of Pennsylvania

Average Graduate Salary: $137,022 – $150,000

Topping the U.S. News and World Report list of MBAs which lead to the highest employment an salaries in 2020 was the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania!

With an average annual salary of $182,000 and 94% employment rate within 3 months of graduation, Wharton students can count on a successful future. The Philadelphia institution has a history of producing both successful and formidable leaders. Alumni include Alex Gorsky, CEO at Johnson & Johnson, and Ruth Porat, current CFO of Alphabet Inc., who was dubbed “the most powerful woman on Wall Street” during her time at Morgan Stanley.

The focus areas in Wharton education include analytics, entrepreneurship & innovation, finance, global perspective, and leadership.

5.     Darden, University of Virginia

Average Graduate Salary: $135,168

Darden School of Business is a top school in many of the most notable college rankings. In 2019-20, Darden was #5 in U.S. News & World Report, #11 in Poets & Quants, # 13 in Forbes, and #18 in Financial Times. Businessweek has Darden at #5 for 2021.

As for job placement, Darden is among the very highest on this list. Financial Times reports that 96% of graduates are employed at three months, and Forbes gives 92%. In either case, odds are very good you’ll quickly land a great job!

6.     Columbia Business School, Columbia University

Average Graduate Salary: $135,000 – $150,000

Columbia Business School appears at or near the top of every major ranking of top Business Schools, both nationally and internationally. Located in New York City at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Columbia’s status remains secure in 2021

Graduating from an Ivy League School never hurts your chances of landing a great job after graduating. Columbia School of Business meets this expectation. Ninety percent of Columbia Business Graduates receive job offers within three months of graduating. Some leading traits of Columbia Business School are an extremely diverse and international student body and of course, excellent career placement rates and career services.

H2: Understanding MBA Salary Increment

While graduate salaries for MBAs are relatively high, the real impact appears to be in the immediate aftermath of graduating where the combination of the MBA and job mobility (the ability to seek out new opportunities with new employers) means the average MBA graduate can expect to double their pre-MBA salary within three years.

The annual FT Global MBA Rankings analyses graduate salaries in the three years after completing a degree.

For prestigious schools the salary impact is even greater with alumni from the top ranked school such as for Stanford in the United States a significant salary boost is being reported a few years after completing the MBA program. As per reports, up to $214,000 increment can be expected at an average three years after graduating from a top MBA program!

With MBAs around the world reporting a 100% increase in salary a few years after graduating, international pre-MBA students appear to be preparing for the market ahead.

Before you start filling out applications, keep in mind that these starting salaries are only guidelines. Individual salaries vary depending on a number of different factors, including your school’s reputation, geographic location, regional cost of living, prior work experience and undergraduate. The potential for growth varies within industries as well – positions in finance and consulting may have more upside in the long run than positions in health care or manufacturing, especially when you factor in perks like bonuses and stock options.

An MBA degree is an impressive credential to put on a resume, but even in this rarefied world, some MBAs will always be better than others.

Want to stay ahead of the competition? Watch the video below!


Read Also

How Will MBA Help Me In My Career?          

“Why MBA” Interview Question & Tips To Answer It          

Why Should You Do MBA After B.Tech?          

From 2 Rejections to Top 10 US Admits with USD 1,90,000 Scholarships 

How Jyoti earned Four top TIER MBA Admits with 1.2 Crores of Scholarships?   

From a Low GPA, and 1.5 Year work experience gap to A US Top 3 Business School  

How Can You Get a Killer Recommendation Letter for Your MBA Application?   

List of MBA Scholarships for Indian Students and how to get them  

How can you crack the Stanford GSB MBA program? Requirements and cultivating the top-tier MBA mindset!  

What is the Cost of Stanford MBA?