Discussion after discussion this fall about the recently graduated MBA class of 2022, a few words keep coming up. Elasticity. Squeak. Determination. Courage.
The class got those descriptors, of course, starting their MBA journey in the middle of a global pandemic, taking classes remotely, unable to network, limited in their recruiting activities — limited, for a time, even in his personal freedom. One of the major business education stories of 2022 graduates is how well and to what extent this year’s MBA graduates overcame these challenges to emerge into the job market among the highest earners in history.
“They did it — they absolutely went through the ringer,” says Sheryle Dirks, associate dean for career management at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, the latest school to release its 2022 MBA Jobs Report. I think the level of success they’ve achieved both in class and out, from an employment perspective, is truly remarkable.”
‘A FUQUA TEAM EXPERIENCE’
How remarkable? Duke Class of 2022 MBAs report a 14% increase in median starting salary, to $160,055 from $140,000 in 2021. This mirrors large increases in median salary reported at peer schools such as Michigan Ross School of Business and the Virginia Darden School of Business. Counting the median signing bonus of $30,000 that more than 83% of Duke MBAs said they received this year, the median total compensation for Fuqua MBAs was $185,135.
“$20,000 in a year is remarkable considering all the uncertainties and everything, so we were certainly excited to see that,” Dirks said. Poets&Quants.
Duke MBAs have been rewarded for their trials with an abundance of job opportunities: 98% of the Class of 2022 had received at least one job offer three months after graduation, and they reached a new school record when 97% accepted.
“I’ve seen the articles from other top schools and I’ve certainly spoken to my counterparts at other schools on a regular basis,” says Dirks. “There are a lot of themes that I think are similar across the board. I think for us it was kind of a Fuqua team moment in that they had this experience of coming together to such a tough time and navigating all of the changing circumstances and environments – masks and virtual and all that kind of stuff and then really getting out the back and making people so successful – it was a real experience of the Fuqua team, and I think that helped give us a lot of ideas going forward in terms of the new world which is a lot more hybrid than it was before.”
CONSULTING EXPANDS AND THE NORTHEAST MOVES THE WEST COAST AS A FIRST REGION
Consulting was again the top industry for Fuqua MBAs, with 36% of the class – another school record – up from 32% in 2021. Consulting represented about a third of each class of MBA graduates at Fuqua since at least 2015; this year, MBB firms made 70 hires, including 42 at Boston Consulting Group. The importance of consulting for Duke MBAs was even more dramatic by function, with 40% citing their consulting role, up 7 percentage points from 2021, a jump of 21% in just one year.
And as placement in finance (16% of the class vs. 17%) and technology (23% vs. 27%) have fallen this year, it was consultant salaries that fueled the sharp rise in the class median. : the industry median salary was $175,000 this year. year, compared to a 2021 average (Fuqua changed its reports this year) of less than $160,000.
“I think part of the increase can definitely be explained by the increase in the board,” says Dirks. “It’s definitely part of the story.”
Another part of the story is the 4 percentage point drop in technology, which reflects a decline felt in business education as the industry itself experiences a contraction.
“SMany students will always have a plan A and a plan B,” says Dirks. “And in many cases it can be technology and consulting. And especially what’s happening with the tech market right now, if the board works, it may seem like a more stable path to follow.”
Hiring freezes at tech giants like Amazon — which nevertheless hired 18 Fuqua graduates this year — may also explain the geographic distribution of the school’s 2022 MBAs. Those moving to the West Coast, primarily the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Los Angeles, have risen to a quarter of the class this year, rising from 28% in 2021. The West Coast was the top MBA destination in Duke for three years, but this year more students moved to the Northeast Corridor in New York and Boston: 29%, versus 23%.
Dirks focused on another geographic statistic: 98% of MBAs in the class found work in North America this year, which means international students have less difficulty finding employers willing to work with them in due to visa issues.
“Our international students are getting jobs in the United States at a truly remarkable rate, which is certainly always exciting to us,” says Dirks.
JOB REPORT BASED ON 99.2% OF THE CLASS
Dirks points to an underreported but significant statistic: the percentage of the class reporting employment data. This year’s Fuqua employment report is based on 99.2% of the class.
The MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance sets the industry standard for reporting data at 85% or higher. At Fuqua, “we strive to provide the most comprehensive representation of the Duke MBA job possible, and therefore work to learn as much information as possible about each student’s status,” says Dirks. “Maybe that seems like a small thing to some people, but if you’re a prospective student, it’s important to understand what percentage of the class these job stats represent. It really represents the whole.”
Overall, it was a class that taught struggle and perseverance. Surviving and thriving during the pandemic has been a “Team Fuqua” effort, Dirks says.
“How do you build connectivity? How do you build a culture in this environment that’s not 100% in-person like before?” she says. “I think for us, that’s really one of the ideas that we’re trying to take from the last two years: how do you have these unique cultures and traditions, but in a way that’s a little bit different now than before. the pandemic?”
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