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Graduating MBA Salaries: $500k to 50K- Not Everyone Can be at the Fore of the 1%
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Linked In has illuminated recent graduate salaries for MBAs. At the Stanford Graduate School of Business an MBA grad joined a private equity firm on the east coast and got a pay package of a bit more than half a million dollars. Considering the 30k sign on bonus with annual bonus of 338k, along with a regular salary of 150k, (not including options and stocks or other perks) the grads entire first year compensation would be at least $522,500.

Disclosed in Stanford’s employment report for 2013 graduates are the salary numbers that the students have been able to find in the market. Stanford’s MBAs base salaries are the same from last year’s numbers, at $125k. Median sign on bonuses are up by $5k from last year.


Interestingly, almost 1 in 5 students at the MBA program at Stanford became entrepreneurs. “This year’s percentage of MBA students who shunned traditional MBA jobs in favor of the star-up world reflects more than a three-fold increase from only 5% in the early 1990s and is 50% higher than the 12% peak during the bubble.” Students seem to be becoming more risk prone and ready to take adventurous start-up venture capital jobs. 77% of the class had their job offers in hand by the time they graduated, compared to last year’s 78%. But a majority of students took mainstream jobs. While students at the top are well reported, some MBAs will have 40k jobs, or 50k jobs, hardly the stellar news-worthy stories.

One woman who was a product manager for Shell, Mariana Zanetti has a slightly different story to tell. She was working in Buenos Aires when her family moved to Madrid as her husband got a promotion. An Harvard bound MBA friend of hers told her to get her MBA too while she was in spain. So Mariana did just that. She borrowed form her family to pay for her education at a one year MBA. She took a year after the program to find a job. She found a job as a product manager for the “spanish version of Home Depot” at the same salary she was earning before her MBA.

Mariana Zanetti wanted to tell the world what a joke the MBA program was and she wanted to dissuade prospective students from bothering to waste their time and money there. She didn’t write the book she wanted to about the situation because she was afraid of professional backlash. But she finally did self-publish a book called The MBA Bubble. She says, “its just not worth the investment. There is an education bubble around these kind of degrees. I don’t think they have much impact on peoples’ careers. There are exceptions of course in management consulting and investment banking where the MBA is always valued. But for the rest, its a nice-to-have degree. Its not that its harmful to you, but every market expert I interviewed for the book says that what is needed today is specialized knowledge and skills and an MBA is generalist training.”

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So in a nutshell Mariana gave her negative take on the MBA culture. But of course, its not easy to dissuade people when they see certain grads of big name schools graduating into half a million dollar compensation packages.

Image Credit: saidaonline



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