3 takeaways from the Berkeley Haas MBA Employment Report

The Berkeley Haas MBA Employment Report reveals the impressive career trends and salaries of its top-ranked MBA program. We spoke to Abby Scott, Assistant Dean of MBA Career Management and Corporate Partnerships at Berkeley Haas, to get her insights into Berkeley Haas’ top ranking in exit salaries post-MBA, and how their career support is unique.

In short

1. Berkeley Haas MBA graduate salaries are on the rise

According to the Berkeley Haas MBA Employment Report, the average base annual salary for the Class of 2021 was US$143,696. The median base annual salary was US$149,000. Abby says this is a “nice jump in salaries…up pretty significantly from the year before.” (00:13)

This doesn’t even take into account other factors, like sign-on bonuses and stock options. “Remember, we’re just talking about base salary here,” Abby emphasizes. “We know that when students come to Berkeley Haas and graduate, 43% of them have some sort of stock options or grants.” (05:00) Furthermore, 72% of Berkeley Haas 2021 graduates received sign-on bonuses.

But, has the COVID-19 pandemic affected these numbers? According to Abby: not really.

It generally took longer for graduates to secure roles. However, Abby tells us, “The salary numbers have not really been impacted, which has been remarkable. I think [that] says a lot about the MBA in the marketplace.” (01:36)

She adds, “Salaries across the board have come up pre-MBA as well as post-MBA in the war for talent. I think it’s wise to look at what you’re going to get as a return on your investment, including the opportunity cost of those two years. That said, we really do see a very positive ROI on our Full-time MBAs.” (04:19)

2. Consulting and technology most popular in Berkeley Haas MBA

It’s no surprise that consulting and technology top the list of employers of Berkeley Haas MBA graduates. Along with financial services, consulting and technology offer the highest salaries for MBA graduates.

At Berkeley Haas, top employers include McKinsey & Company, BCG, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

However, Abby adds, “One of the things that’s really fun about working at Berkeley Haas – and I know attracts a lot of students as well – is the diversity of industries that students go into.” (03:32) So, while consulting and technology are the largest (and have been for many years), Berkeley Haas MBA graduates also join industries like healthcare, energy, retail, real estate, and the public sector.

3. Entrepreneurship is alive and well at Berkeley Haas

As we’ve seen, industries like consulting, tech, and finance remain the top employers for MBA graduates at Berkeley Haas. However, the Berkeley Haas MBA Employment Report reveals that, in Berkeley Haas’ Class of 2021, 10% of graduates went to work for startups.

Abby explains, “Entrepreneurship is alive and well here. Some of it is our location and some of it is our reputation, faculty, that sort of thing. Around 5% of our total class will launch a new startup upon graduation. As you can imagine, they team up with each other. They find scientists and engineers on the broader Berkeley campus, and there are tons of programs to help them not only find each other and come up with the seed of an idea, but to actually jump into incubators and accelerators to further those ideas.” (05:34)

In 2021, Berkeley Haas startup founders raised record funding, for a total of $125 million! This includes Oishii, the world’s first indoor vertical strawberry firm, founded by Hiroki Koga (Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2017). 

Holistic career support: Looking beyond the report

As a leading business school, the MBA program at Berkeley Haas has one of the highest graduate salaries. But, Abby is quick to note other components that MBA students should think about.

“The base salary is just one component. I think our students are pretty savvy, as are most MBAs, at trying to think holistically about their package,” she says. “There are lots of other factors to consider as well – things like, what division am I going to be in? What will the impact of my work be on not just the company but the greater society in which we live? What does the career trajectory look like for those MBAs that have joined the company in the last couple of years? What will the location decision be for me?” (07:08)

To help its students land jobs in their desired industry, Berkeley Haas deploys a range of career support. While they have a team of career coaches who are “industry-agnostic,” Berkeley Haas also has a group of industry-specific advisors, who come in three forms:

  1. Relationship managers, who are connected to the industries and stay close to alums and recruiters in their respective industries.
  2. Industry specialists. These are people who actually work in the companies, and are usually Berkeley Haas alums. “They’re a part-time workforce of ours,” Abby explains. “If you’re looking to get a job in business operations in the technology sector, we may not have a specialist in our primary full-time team that knows that, but we’ve got this extended workforce.” (12:48)
  3. Second-year peer advisors. These are second-year MBA students who have just come back from a summer internship and are great at helping first-year students.

A new focus on leadership

The industry-specific career support that Berkeley Haas offers is unique, and will undoubtedly play a key role in helping students find their dream jobs – as the Berkeley Haas MBA Employment Report shows.

Abby adds, “We have started to hire people who have not just career coaching, but leadership development training. We recognize that the career journey is not unbundled from the leadership journey.” (14:15)

With one of the highest graduate salaries, plentiful opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, holistic career development, and alumni career support along your leadership journey, Berkeley Haas continues to carve its legacy as a top business school in the world today.

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