UVA Darden Executive MBA Graduates Report Major Salary Increases Over Course of Program

03 February 2020

By Mary Shea Watson

Newly released employment outcomes for the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Executive MBA Class of 2019 prove that recent graduates’ impressive employment success extends across the School’s cadre of MBA degree formats.

Darden’s Career Development Center (CDC) defines three major groups of students within each Executive MBA class and delivers tailored career coaching accordingly to “switchers” — those who want to change careers — to “climbers” — those who want to move up in their current organizations — and to entrepreneurs. Approximately 55 percent of students in the Executive MBA Class of 2019 identified as switchers, 26 percent as climbers and 19 percent as entrepreneurs.

Graduates Seeking to Change Careers Report 75 Percent Salary Increase, Diverse New Industries

Switchers reported an average starting salary at graduation of $153,000, which represents a 76 percent average salary increase from the beginning to the end of the program.

These graduates entered new roles in a diverse array of industries, including consulting (27 percent), banking and financial services (20 percent), technology (10 percent), health care and biopharmaceutical (10 percent), and manufacturing (10 percent). The remaining percentage of students who identified as switchers began careers in energy, government, nonprofit, real estate, retail and transportation.

Companies that hired students from the Executive MBA Class of 2019 include Amazon, Bank of America, Capital One, CarMax, Danaher, Deutsche Bank, EY, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Co., Raytheon, Walmart and ZS, among others.

Graduates Seeking to Move Up in Their Current Organizations Report 45 Percent Salary Increase

Climbers posted similarly successful career outcomes as their switcher classmates. Graduates seeking to move up in their current company reported an average starting salary at graduation of $208,500 — a 45 percent average salary increase from the beginning of the Executive MBA program to graduation.

“We are proud to report on such impressive results from the Executive MBA Class of 2019,” said Jeff McNish, assistant dean of career development. “Students in the executive formats are purpose-driven, global leaders with a keen sense of self-awareness. On behalf of the Career Development Center, it’s a joy to partner with these students to help them achieve their own personal definitions of success.”

“As associate dean for the Executive MBA program, I know how incredibly impressive these students are as people and as leaders,” said Professor Jim Detert. “To see them achieve these career outcomes is thus not surprising but, rather, very rewarding for all of us who have the pleasure of working with these students. We know they will not just achieve their personal goals; they will make the world a better place for us all in the years ahead.”

Later this academic year, Darden will release a comprehensive report of career outcomes from the Class of 2019 in Darden’s full-time MBA, Executive MBA and Master of Science in business analytics.

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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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia