How Much Do MBA Graduates Earn as Consultants?

Management Consulted, a leading resource for consulting-related data and news, recently released its latest report, ‘Management Consulting Salaries for Undergraduates, MBAs/PhDs & Interns’ — and the average salary for new MBA graduates looks good.

It’s nearly $150,000 per year — and that’s just the start! Most graduates sign a one-time signing bonus of $25,000 and are eligible for performance bonuses.

The firm compared data from hundreds of confirmed offer letters from MBA candidates. The data comes directly from consulting firms. 

There’s a big gap between MBAs and undergrads. In fact, undergrads make about half of what starting MBAs make, according to the report. 

In an exclusive report, Jenny Rae Le Roux, a former Bain consultant and Columbia Business School MBA who serves as Management Consulted’s managing director, told Poets & Quants that this trend reflects consulting firms’ values on the MBA experience compared to the undergraduate experience.

She said, “The intangible value prop of a consulting education is still more differential for someone with less work experience (undergrad/Masters) — it’s his or her first brand name, c-suite exposure, analytics training, and travel. Plus, it comes with the potential for MBA sponsorship. MBAs – many of whom have already had those things – are making more focused career choices. Many of the things they want then — lifestyle, specific cities, accelerated promotions, managerial experience, etc. — come as adequately in tech as in consulting. In short, the market for MBAs is more competitive and their values are different.”

Le Roux explained MBAs often make the same as PhDs. She said, “Some firms may have special practices that will treat them slightly differently, but in general [MBA/Ph.D. and Undergrad/Master’s] come in at equivalent levels based on their years of work experience. This is not a change from 2018-2019, but standard consulting industry practice.”

Your takeaway? That MBA is worth it. So if you are thinking of applying for one, go for it!



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