2018 Career Stats for MBAs

Although not all MBA degrees carry equal weight, having an MBA definitely influences a candidate’s credibility when they reenter the job search. MBAs work in careers across all major industries and in every region of the United States. In fact, there are few degrees that can advance someone’s career more quickly – and that also means a much larger salary comes along with those initials after their name.

Wharton MBAs Average $135,000 Starting Salaries

In a 2018 survey of recent graduates, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business revealed an average starting salary of $135,000, with Venture Capital positions averaging $175,000 and Legal Services offers averaging $180,000. Somewhat surprisingly, the highest average salaries by region were the South and Midwest, where newly minted MBAs netted offers averaging $150,000. The range of companies that prefer MBAs varies as much as the specializations of degree holders and include Pfizer, Deutsche Bank, Wayfair and Tesla Motors, among many others.

Wharton is the top business school in the world, so not all MBAs will do this well, but it certainly highlights the value of the degree.

What Positions Do MBAs Typically Hold?

An MBA gives graduates an excellent breadth of knowledge to succeed in any business-related career. In fact, many job postings list it as a preference. For that reason alone, it’s a strategic move to get the edge on the competition. Here are some of the most common positions held by MBA graduates:

  • Account Executive
  • Business Consultant
  • Business Development Manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Finance Manager
  • General Manager
  • Industry Specialist Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Sales Manager

Should MBAs Choose a Concentration?

Although MBA degrees are general in nature, many students now choose specializations. Students aren’t always required to specialize their MBA degree, but it’s highly recommended if a student wants to land a job in a specific industry. Recruiters do look for a demonstrated focus in one field or functional area. MBAs tend to be fiercely competitive by nature, which makes the job market even more cutthroat for them than many other degree holders. If graduates can list a concentration on their resumes, it helps them stand out and showcases a deep interest in a specialization. Internships and extracurricular activities also provide opportunities to boast unique skill sets.

Getting an MBA is a huge commitment of time, money and effort, but there’s a clear payday in terms of the increased salary that typically comes with the degree.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.