This is actually one of my exact concerns. I'm sure (I hope?) it's not a huge deal, but I'm currently at a salary/compensation level higher than a post MBA, as I'm in consulting at a post MBA level. However, I'm going to business school to shift to a new industry, which has a starting salary that is lower than my current one. Wouldn't that damage a school's rankings, and perhaps create pause for concern for the admissions team? Or am I overthinking this?
Would be great to hear from someone with experience in admissions on this one.
I’m no expert, but I don’t think you guys have anything to worry about. Think of all the I-bankers who have “seen the light” and now want to go into non-profit management or something similar. I don’t think b-schools look down on them at all.
I get the impression that there are a lot of people out there applying to schools as a way to get into consulting, I-banking, or PE. That’s great, and schools like that, but they also like diversity. By coming from one of those industries and looking to switch to something new, you can show the school that not only are you different and passionate about something else but that you can also help your peers that are aspiring to become consultants. You can help with practice case interviews, give tips for networking, etc. Wouldn’t schools love that?
Also, while I know there’s a “Change in Salary” stat that floats around, I think the more important stat is the average salary of graduates, which ignores prior salary. In the back of their heads, wouldn’t adcoms know that if you can’t find a job in your new industry (or you realize you want to pay off your debt quickly), you’d have a better shot than most at landing a high-paying job like your current one?
If you’re concerned, just make sure your story is clear and convincing. If you can show that you’ve really thought about it and have already made steps to learn about / experience this new industry then I’m pretty sure your high-salary background can only help you.