Scott Edinburgh
May 5, 2016

The Top 10 MBA Jobs: Salary & Satisfaction


From my friends at Transparent MBA comes another analysis of post-MBA jobs!


The age-old question for MBA students and prospective students: what’s the return on my investment? How much will I get paid after school? There’s certainly no shortage of requests on message boards like Poets & Quants, Payscale, and Monster about this very topic. These inquiries are answered with average salary reports – say, by school, or by industry.

While these rankings are useful, we at TransparentMBA believe you deserve deeper data, richer insights, and most of all, full transparency. That’s why we’ve provided the first MBA-specific resource that provides compensation and satisfaction data for the jobs business students care about most. It’s not just generalized data by school or industry – instead, we provide industry, function, and even company-level data for the most granular view possible.

So, without further ado…our first top 10 MBA job ranking:

1. General Management

With a killer combination of extremely high satisfaction (9/10), 40-hour work weeks, and significant bonus potential, careers in general management rated highest this year. Popular companies included Eli Lilly, Kraft-Heinz, and Citigroup.

2. Operations

Operations ranked 8 of 10 on the satisfaction scale, with only 43 hours/week logged on average. Competitive total compensation potential over $170K put careers in operations towards the top of the list. Top companies include Nike (with a whopping 10/10 on overall satisfaction), Target, Google, and Microsoft.

3. Business Development

BizDev can be a catch-all category for MBA students with “atypical” jobs, like startup companies for example, so we see a wide range in responses. Overall though, respondents were satisfied with the good work/life balance (<45 hour weeks), ability to make an impact, and extremely high bonus potential.

4. Investment Management

Holy hedge funds. If you’re getting an MBA to seek the biggest possible payday, investment management may be right for you. Despite a relatively low satisfaction in the 3rd percentile, the total compensation package of up to $345,000 (no, not a typo) is enough to boost it into the top five. Jobs are scattered across many firms, with Fidelity leading the way by number of hires.

5. Private Equity

Another darling of the modern MBA student, Private Equity’s high satisfaction, pay, and impact scores suffer from long hours. It’s likely most MBAs are playing the long game with roles in this field, since investment horizons tend to be (much) longer than a year.

6. Corporate Strategy

Corporate strategy roles range from the biggest of the big (Wal-Mart) to maturing companies like Airbnb. MBA jobs here average 53 hours/week with middling pay, but high bonus potential and fairly strong impact ratings provide a boost.

7. Product Management

Product management, a fast-growing MBA role, provided better-than-average compensation, decent working hours, and middling satisfaction ratings.

8. Marketing/Brand Management

While brand management filled out the very bottom of the compensation range, it made up for these poor marks with excellent ratings for satisfaction and hours worked.

9. Venture Capital

There are few MBA jobs more coveted in our unicorn-filled world than VC roles, but decent hours and high pay (over $130K in salary) fail to make up for the low satisfaction ratings.

10. Consulting

The consulting business, oft-considered the darling of the MBA candidate, posts poor scores in hours/week (over 60) and overall satisfaction (17th percentile). Since the pay is more than competitive at over $140K plus bonus, we attribute the poor marks to high travel and stress.

Do you want feedback on your post-MBA goals? Do you want help getting into a top school so you can get one of these jobs? Email me to discuss how I can help with your applications and career planning:



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