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Average MBA Salary Highest at Stanford GSB

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Proximity to Silicon Valley could be a boon for your post-MBA salary.

From a look at the highest average MBA salary to the ins and outs of reapplying after a rejection. Here’s our latest roundup of business school news.

Highest MBA salary

Stanford Graduate School of Business may not be THE top-ranked business school according to organizations like U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek (though it’s VERY high up there), but its graduates may not care all that much anyway, considering that they earn more than any other MBAs. Graduates of Stanford GSB earn the highest MBA salary on average, and the school has graduated four self-made billionaires and nearly 250 current CEOs.

One key reason why MBAs earn so much after leaving Stanford is location, location, location. OK, that’s three reasons—but it’s worth repeating. Located right next to Silicon Valley, GSB graduates can find employment at some of the most exciting tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Google. The school’s track record for high MBA salary may also have to do attitude, as one recent graduate explains: “We have a culture where you are encouraged to do whatever you want, to explore the things you want to do that others may think is crazy.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Chicago Booth’s big year

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business may look back on 2017 and consider it a watershed year. While consistently high in the rankings, U.S. News & World Report gave it the third slot this year, joining “The Big Three” along with Harvard and Wharton. This didn’t just happen by chance though; it came with a lot of planning and success, including a big jump in average GMAT scores for new students and an uptick in average MBA salary for graduates.

“We look for people who are forever students of life,” says Kurt Ahlm, the school’s associate dean of Admissions. “These people have this innate commitment to learning and exploring the world around them. They are compelled to ask questions, think about how things connect, and dive deeper. That’s just baked in whether you talk to students, staff, or faculty.” (Poets & Quants)

One-year vs. two-year programs

In Europe, one-year MBA programs are all the rage and growing in popularity, with students drawn to their lower cost and the fact that matriculants can get back into the workforce quicker. Consider this: Nearly three quarters of one-year programs on the Continent saw more applications last year, compared to just 43 percent of two-year programs in the United States.

Shashi Matta, MBA director at Ohio State’s Max M. Fisher College of Business, is what you might call a traditionalist. “Employers are interested in someone who they can be confident about—who not only has immersed themselves in learning about business over a two-year period, but also has that clear evidence shown by the internship,” she explains. An internship is done between your first and second year.

But as Michelle Sisto, MBA director of EDHEC Business School says, “Our students are not ready to give up two years of their career. It’s mostly about the cost.”


Hopefully, you will get into all your top MBA program picks. But what if your heart and mind are set on one school in particular and you don’t make the cut? There’s always next year, when you can reapply. But if you do take this route, make sure you follow a few rules of engagement:

  1. If you are able to get feedback from the school that rejected your application, then definitely do so. Not all school provide it, but some do, and the advice could be extremely helpful. That said, you might not be able to improve on everything within a few months time. Focus on what you can.
  2. Don’t submit the same information. If you already know that your GMAT score wasn’t what it should be, for example, retake it.
  3. If you didn’t perform well in your interview, prepare for it more effectively. It’s an important way admissions officers seeing if you’d be a good fit for their culture. (U.S. News & World Report)

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