Salaries and sign-on bonuses remained strong for the Class of 2018, with a bump in the number of students landing jobs three months post-graduation.
About 93.4 percent of job seekers accepted offers within three months of graduation, with about 83 percent receiving job offers by graduation.
“This is just about as strong of a job market for MBAs that I’ve ever seen,” said Abby Scott, assistant dean of Career Management & Corporate Relations. “Salaries are up, thanks to stock options and bonuses. We’re really pleased with the employment success of this year’s class.”
Pay is solid this year for the class of 242 graduates, with average salaries of $127,571, up from $125,572 last year. Those salaries were topped off by an average sign-on bonus of $29,212. About seventy percent of the class received signing bonuses, and about 41 percent received stock options or grants.
Tech, consulting top sectors
Technology was again the most popular sector for new Berkeley MBAs, pulling in 32 percent of the graduates. Amazon, Google, and Adobe were among the top tech employers.
Gabriela Belo Soares, MBA 18, said she took a full-time job at Google in business operations and strategy for a number of reasons.
“I always admired the company’s trajectory and how it changed the way we use the internet, and I strongly identified with the company’s values and mission,” she said. “Tech companies are currently under massive scrutiny from users and the media and have a big pressure to keep up the high pace of growth and innovation. This environment is exciting and requires making smart decisions responsibly and quickly. That was what I was looking for.”
Meantime, 24 percent—or 44 students—took jobs in consulting, with McKinsey & Co., Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Bain & Co., Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and IDEO representing the top hiring firms in consulting.
Carina Serreze, MBA/MPH 17, who graduated in December, took a job as an associate with McKinsey—her first choice of the three offers she received.
“When it came down to it, I was choosing between a full-time offer at Genentech or a startup or McKinsey,” she said. What drove her decision was the opportunity to work across different healthcare verticals at McKinsey, where she also has more geographic flexibility (she now lives in Seattle and travels often to San Francisco).
“Consulting was an opportunity to go really broad,” she said.
New companies make list
Nearly 14 percent of grads took positions in finance, including fintech, up from 11.8 percent last year. Meantime, 14 graduates started companies, while 25 others went to startups in various industries.
New companies on the school’s top hiring list include EY Parthenon, IDEO, Kraft Heinz, and Tesla.
Maxwell Kushner-Lenhoff, MBA 18, said the work he did at Haas taught him many of the skills he needed to be successful in his current role as a global supply manager in battery materials at Tesla.
“I came back to Haas to get into cleantech and I discussed the work I did in the Cleantech to Market course during my interview process,” said Kushner-Lenhoff, who previously worked at the Dow Chemical Company. He is one of seven members of the Class of 2018 who went to work at Tesla.
Read the 2018 employment report.