From McKinsey to Amazon, some of the world's best-known companies are among the biggest recruiters of MBA graduates and offer mega post-MBA salaries.
The average MBA salary for Stanford MBA grads three years out of their degree is more than $220,000. Harvard MBA grads can expect around $210,000, while INSEAD MBAs earn average salaries of $180,000 three years after graduation.
An MBA provides you with a comprehensive understanding of every area of business, from marketing and accounting to strategy and finance, so you’re primed for a career across industries and roles.
But what are the highest-paying jobs for MBA graduates across industries?
9 Highest Paying MBA Jobs
1. Management Consultant
It’s no surprise that management consultant is on this list. The role gives MBA grads huge earning potential. The Big Three consulting firms, McKinsey, Bain & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), hire thousands of MBA grads every year.
The average MBA salary for MBB consultants starts at around $165,000, and earning potential only increases. 10 years out of an MBA, a senior partner at a firm like BCG can expect to earn between $450,000-$650,000 per year.
There are also MBA job opportunities at an array of boutique consulting firms, which offer MBA grads starting salaries of at least $130,000.
2. Senior Project Manager
If an MBA teaches you anything, it’s how to manage and lead people across multiple projects. Working in diverse teams on real-time consulting projects is a key part of your MBA education.
Many MBA graduates enter roles as senior project managers. Starting salaries in the US sit around $85,000, but can reach up to $125,000 at companies like Uber.
3. Senior Product Manager
A senior product manager will manage multiple products for a company, or a single product that is highly complex, high-risk, or sensitive. To do this role successfully you’ll need to be able to line manage multiple people across departments.
The base salary for a senior product manager can be as high as $140,000 in London, UK, according to Glassdoor. That rises significantly at the big tech companies that often have a lot riding on the release or success of new product lines.
The average MBA salary for a senior product manager at Facebook in the US could be as high as $170,000. That’s a base salary of around $150K and a bonus of $20K. The average for the same role at US tech giant Apple is around $185,000, and at Google $227,000.
4. Financial Manager
As a financial manager you’re tasked with advising clients on business strategy, and help refine decision making processes to ensure the business is financially successful. You’ll need a wide finance knowledge to advise on investments, savings, pensions, and insurance products—an MBA provides that holistic education.
Finance is one of the top three industries MBAs enter after graduating, and many MBAs become financial managers.
The median annual wage for a financial manager in the US—according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—was $134,180 in May 2020. The highest 10% of earners in this role earned more than $208,000.
5. Investment Banker
Working as an investment banker lets you put to work many of the skills you acquire on an MBA. You’ll need hard financial skills as well as strong soft skills to communicate with multiple stakeholders.
You’ll advise companies, institutions, and governments on how to achieve their financial goals and implement long and short-term financial plans. You'll also work in teams focused specifically on transactions or market sectors.
The BLS indicates that the average salary for an experienced investment banker can reach $450,000. For MBA graduates, starting MBA salary will likely fall around the $125,000 mark and will be topped up with performance bonuses.
6. Private Equity Associate
Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BlackRock; all the financial heavyweights hire private equity associates straight out of business school.
You’ll need the knowledge and skillset to find potential investors, assist with investments, perform due diligence on clients, and see deals through to completion.
In the US, a first-year private equity associate can expect an average annual salary of $125,000. With experience, that rises to an average of $160,000 for third-year associates. Not a bad average MBA salary three years out of business school.
7. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Alongside finance, the tech industry is another of the top three industries that MBA grads enter. Whether you join a startup, an SME, or multinational, the chief technology officer role is a great way to get your teeth into the sector.
You’ll be using your MBA skills to establish a company’s technical vision, manage a technical team, or oversee technological development.
Such a senior role means a hefty MBA salary. The annual salary of a CTO varies, depending on company size, location, and your experience level. The average chief technology officer salary in the United States is $251,000 as of June 28, 2021, but the range typically falls between $210,000 and $294,000.
8. Marketing Manager
At the high end, a marketing manager in the UK can earn around $88,000, which rises to $117,000 for senior marketing managers.
The marketing manager role at one of the established tech companies in the US is also high. MBA job opportunities in marketing at Amazon, for example, bring high salaries. A marketing manager at the firm earns on average more than $122,000 in annual compensation.
In the US, ridesharing firm Lyft also pays its marketing managers six figures. A marketing manager at the firm can expect an average base salary of $112,000.
9. Senior Data Analyst
MBA job opportunities in data science are booming for business school grads.
A senior data analyst with an MBA in the US can expect to earn around $100,000 per year. The position is ideal for grads who have combined an MBA with a master of business analytics.
A senior data analyst specializes in collecting data, organizing that data, and then analyzing it so that they can accurately report their findings to help other departments to make informed decisions.
With the World Economic Forum predicting technology, big data, and analytics will dominate the jobs of the future, expect this to be a role filled by MBA talent for years to come.