The Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA graduates netted record-breaking pay at Final Placement 2016 with average total compensation for this at $179,346, up 4.2% from $172,196 in 2015. Average median compensation was $163,827, up 2.2 % from $160,287 from the previous year.
While technology sector claimed 33% of the graduates, Finance with 31% offered the highest pay packets. The median pay for the 12% of the class that accepted jobs with Private Equity firms was a class-high $177,500, well above the overall median of $136,000 for the Class of 2016.
The School’s median compensation surpassed not only Harvard Business School by nearly $6,000 but also that of Wharton, Chicago Booth, Duke Fuqua and Kellogg. HBS had reported total median compensation of $158,080, Wharton $154,701, Booth $145,723 Fuqua $141,871 and Kellogg $139,747.
The Class of 2016 saw both mean and median base salaries notch up record highs. The $140,553 average and the $136,000 median surpassed last year’s record by 5%. Median signing bonus remained unchanged from last year’s $25,000, while the mean dropped 12% from last year’s record-breaking $23,636. The percentage of students receiving signing bonuses increased by 11 points to 55%. Median other guaranteed compensation, reported by 35% of the class, dropped 22% to $40,750, and the average increased slightly to a record $74,655.
Median other guaranteed compensation for private equity sector was at $150,000. Venture capital firms offered median starting salaries of $167,500. Hedge funds and investment management firms came up with median salaries of $150,000. Interestingly, the highest salary of $450,000 was offered in Healthcare.
An investment bank recruit received the highest signing bonus of $75,000 while a software firm appointee got a sign-on award of $65,000. In other guaranteed compensation, $400,000 was bagged by a new recruit in private equity. Another highlight was a $209,000 other guaranteed in investment management and a $175,000 in hedge funds.
For the first time, Stanford introduced a new metric, “Expected Bonuses,” that includes both guaranteed and non-guaranteed compensation but is not required for reporting purposes by the Career Services & Employer Alliance (CSEA). The school said 61% of its students reported an expected bonus of $38,750 (median) and $66,341 (mean) with a range of $5,000 to a high of $500,000.
As to the reason behind its job acceptance rates being often lower than several other business schools, being placed 57th in job placement by Bloomberg Businessweek survey, Stanford said at graduation only 72% of its graduates had job offers and just 63% accepted those offers. Three months after graduation, 90% received offers and 82% accepted, representing 2% and 4% drops, respectively, compared to last year. That meant nearly one in five Stanford MBAs hadn’t accepted a job three months after commencement.