Poets & Quants: ‘Record MBA Pay’ for UVA Darden Class of 2019

10 September 2019

By Jay Hodgkins

Jeff McNish, assistant dean of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business‘ Career Development Center, recently sat down with John Byrne, editor of the online business education-focused publication Poets & Quants, to share a sneak peek of the record employment results for Darden’s full-time Class of 2019.

The full-time MBA Class of 2019 Employment Report will be released later in September when the School finalizes its data on Class of 2019 career outcomes. However, with most recent graduates already reporting, Byrne was able to share a compelling picture of employment results for Darden’s most recent graduating class.

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business reported that median starting salaries and sign-on bonuses reached a new record, rising by 6.6% to $162,000 for this year’s class of MBAs from $152,000 last year, according to the school’s preliminary employment report.

The percentage of graduates receiving job offers within three months of graduation also hit a record at 97%, while the percentage of MBAs accepting those offers–94%–in the same timeframe tied a record at the school. Some 97% of the reporting graduates received more than one offer within the three-month timeframe.

The $162,000 total, not including other guaranteed compensation in the first year, is composed of median salaries of $135,000, up by $10,000 from the $125,000 a year earlier, and median signing bonuses of $30,000 reported by 90% of Darden’s Class of 2019. Sign-on bonuses were unchanged year-over-year.

In his conversation with Poets & Quants, McNish noted that salaries and signing bonuses went up in several industries but were most notably led by a 16 percent increase in average financial services industry salaries to $145,000, followed by an 8.3 percent increase in tech industry salaries to $130,000 and an 8.2 percent increase in consulting industry salaries to $159,000.

“It is a very good market and there is great demand,” says Jeff McNish, who joined Darden’s Career Development Center as assistant dean in late 2016 after serving in a similar role at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School since 2010. In his nine years in career development, McNish says 2019 was the best year he has ever experienced for MBA graduates. “This is by far the best year for the diversity of companies, the starting pay, and the percentage of international students getting jobs. Students were getting offers left and right. You could tell back in April it was going to be good, and I think all of us are going to report pretty solid outcomes.”

Read the full story on Poets & Quants.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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