Carnegie Mellon University
January 31, 2017

Full-Time MBA Class of 2016 Employment Statistics: Majority of Grads Head Into Technology, Consulting and Financial Industries, Starting Salaries Reached All-time High

Recent graduates attribute their success to skills acquired through coursework, career coaching, clubs and other leadership opportunities at the Tepper School

With 91.5 percent of students reporting job offers within three months after graduation — and 82.7 percent having already received offers at graduation — the Tepper School of Business full-time MBA Class of 2016 set a new record for the school for median base salary at $117,000 and a median sign-on bonus of $25,000.

This diverse class pursued a wide variety of job functions and industries, but the most sought-after industry was technology, with 34 percent of the class accepting positions at tech companies in a variety of functions ranging from product management, to marketing, to finance and more.

The tech sector was followed closely by consulting as a popular industry destination for graduates, with 28 percent of the class accepting consulting jobs. In third place was financial services, which is represented by 17 percent of the class.

Geoffrey Ensby, a graduate of the Class of 2016, says his experiences at the Tepper School helped prepare him for a position in the consulting industry. In addition to gaining valuable knowledge and skills from his involvement in the Consulting Club, the Veterans Club and the Christian Business Association, Ensby says that he is already applying many lessons that he learned in the classroom at his job as an associate at McKinsey and Co.

“The industry treks were also great because we got meet with top companies, and you begin to understand how things work and that you really want to get out of the office and meet with clients,” he added.

“We have made an effort to expose our students to their industries and markets of choice by helping them secure relevant internships and supporting student club treks to various cities across the United States where students visit top companies and meet with Tepper School alumni and recruiters,” explained Stephen Rakas, executive director of the Career Opportunities Center (COC).

These employment trends are expected to hold steady, as 33 percent of the Class of 2017 completed internships at tech companies last summer. Consulting and finance internships were tied with the second highest number of students, both at 15 percent.

While these top industries for Tepper School graduates are not out of the ordinary, the Class of 2016 did bring with it one change: Among the students to accept jobs in the technology industry, female students far surpassed the male students. In fact, 45 percent of the female graduates accepted jobs at tech companies, versus only 29 percent of men. Over the past five years, about a third of the women to graduate from the Tepper School MBA program have selected tech as their industry of choice.

Among these students is Katie Tippets, another 2016 graduate who is currently part of the Accelerated Leadership Program at Intel Corporation, currently transitioning into the second rotation of this two-year leadership development program as a technology strategist for the Automated Driving Group.

For Tippets, a primary draw to the Tepper School was the data-driven culture of the MBA program combined with the extensive leadership development opportunities, which she believes helps to prepare students for the rapidly changing technology landscape.

“Before starting at the Tepper School, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in technology, but was unsure what function aligned with my career goals and skills,” Tippets said. “After discussing employment opportunities with the COC, I decided that a leadership development program would allow me to gain the skills necessary for a career in general management.”

During her time at the Tepper School, Tippets was involved with the Business and Technology Club, the Operations Club and the Endurance Club, and served as a Visit Coordinator for the MBA Admissions office.

“The club leadership positions were a welcome balance to the quantitative coursework, giving me an opportunity to focus on personal leadership development,” she said.

“At the Career Opportunities Center we have built strong relationships with top companies, and recruiters recognize that the Tepper School is a destination for hiring exceptional talent,” Rakas explained. “Our employment report — including the high salaries and high number of graduates accepting job offers — demonstrates that. The outstanding number of our women MBAs entering the technology industry is another noteworthy outcome.”

“Because of the small class size at Tepper, I was able to have a close relationship with multiple career advisors, meaning I was able to receive immediate responses whenever necessary from someone who was familiar with my recruiting process,” Tippets said, adding that she also sought the help of the school’s Accelerate Leadership Center for interview coaching.

“It was great to get high-level feedback from the COC advisors during the recruiting process, as well as hear their insights on industry trends,” Ensby added.

The COC was ranked #3 in effectiveness of career services by alumni in the Financial Times most recent survey, and #17 in student satisfaction with career services by The Economist.