At nearly $150,000 for two years of tuition, the Harvard MBA is not cheap—but is it a worthwhile investment?
According to the Harvard Business School's most recent MBA employment statistics, 96% of 2021 Harvard MBA grads received a job offer within three months of graduating.
Not only that: the median Harvard MBA salary in 2021 was $150,000, meaning most recent graduates are likely to pay back their tuition within a year.
Once you include signing and performance bonuses—over half of the class of 2021 received $30k and $37k on average for each—the Harvard MBA begins to look like a very lucrative choice for ambitious professionals.
Here’s what you could earn by studying on the Harvard MBA program, broken down by industry, function, and location.
Average Harvard MBA salary by industry
Almost half of prospective MBA students target careers in consulting according to a recent Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey, and 17% of the current Harvard MBA class were in consulting before enrolling.
It’s no surprise, then, that consulting is the most popular industry for grads from the top M7 business school. Around a quarter of Harvard’s MBA class graduated into consultancy roles in 2021, earning a median base salary of $165k.
Signing and performance bonuses are also more common in consulting than other fields. Among the Harvard grads who went into the sector, 81% received a signing bonus and 75% a performance bonus, both of which were around $30k on average.
The next most-common career path for Harvard grads was technology, with almost a fifth of MBAs entering the sector.
The median base salary for Harvard MBAs in tech was $150k, with signing and performance bonuses of $33k and $26k respectively.
Finance was the third most-popular career route for Harvard MBAs in 2021, and it was perhaps the most lucrative across the board.
Across private equity, investment and hedge fund management, and venture capital, median base salaries were at least $160k, while private equity salaries were around $150k.
But while salaries were slightly lower than in consulting the median performance bonus for a Harvard MBA grad in private equity was a whopping $175k, the highest across all sectors.
READ: BCG, McKinsey & 25 Top Consulting Firms With The Highest Salaries
Average Harvard MBA salary by function
Henry Paulson, former US secretary of the Treasury and CEO of Goldman Sachs, is one of Harvard Business School’s most famous alumni. With such financial pedigree among the school’s alumni, it’s no surprise that many Harvard MBAs land finance jobs after graduation.
In fact, a third of 2021 grads took up finance roles across several industries, with 17% going into venture capital and private equity. Finance salaries held steady with an overall average of $150k, though the median signing and performance bonuses dipped below, at $26k and $21k respectively.
Harvard is the home of the MBA program, which is famously a generalist degree that prepares graduates to thrive in a variety of business contexts and general management roles.
In 2021, the school helped 11% of the cohort find roles in general management, earning a median base salary of $140k. Grads were awarded a median signing bonus of $20k, along with the promise of a median $20k performance bonus.
Marketing roles made up for 11% of Harvard’s class of 2021 graduate destinations, with 7% going into product management.
The median Harvard MBA salary for those in marketing roles was $140k—slightly higher for product managers at $144k—with median signing packages of $25k and performance bonuses of $20k.
Go to Page 2 to find out the average Harvard MBA salary by location