UVA Darden Full-Time MBA Class of 2020 Reports Highest Starting Salaries in School History

15 December 2020

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business full-time MBA Class of 2020 notched the highest average starting salary in school history, despite the economic uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic before the graduates left Grounds.

According to data from the Darden Career Center, the average base starting salary for the Class of 2020 was $139,945 — up about $4,800 from the Class of 2019’s $135,168 average starting salary — with an average bonus of $33,266.

Within 90 days of graduation, 91 percent of Class of 2020 students accepted an offer of full-time employment, showing the resilience of demand for top MBA talent despite the pandemic disrupting the job market and leading some companies to delay hiring plans. In that same timeframe, 93 percent of graduates received at least one full-time job offer. Career outcomes for international graduates remained strong — 91 percent of students without permanent U.S. work authorization received a full-time employment offer within 90 days of graduating, with 88 percent accepting an offer in that timeframe.

By industry, 41 percent of the class entered roles in consulting, followed by 20 percent in technology careers and 19 percent in financial services careers.

The top employers of 2020 full-time MBA graduates represented a diverse array of industries and companies. They include (with number of graduates hired):

  • Boston Consulting Group (25)
  • Bain (17)
  • McKinsey (17)
  • EY (15)
  • Amazon (11)
  • Dell Technologies (8)
  • Deloitte Consulting (8)
  • Wayfair (8)
  • Accenture (7)
  • Google (7)
  • Microsoft (7)
  • Capital One (6)

Darden’s most recent alumni began their post-graduate careers in a wide variety of locations across the United States and around the world. The Northeast U.S. was the most common landing spot for the class, with 30 percent of graduates accepting employment in the region, followed by 23 percent in the mid-Atlantic, 15 percent in the West, 15 percent in the Southwest, 13 percent in the southern U.S., and 5 percent in the Midwest. Five percent of graduates accepted jobs internationally, led by Asia.

Fifty-three percent of full-time offers came as a result of summer internships. A total of 48 Class of 2020 graduates facing delayed job start dates or rescinded job offers due to the pandemic participated in a paid Darden Impact Internship last summer to continue building their MBA skills and give back by advancing projects strategic to the School and faculty research.

“The resilient demand for Darden graduates and record salaries earned, despite the economic upheaval created by the pandemic, is a testament to the incredible talent of the purpose-driven Class of 2020,” said Assistant Dean of Career Development Jeff McNish. “It is also a testament to the hard work of faculty, alumni, our dedicated employer partners, staff and members of the Darden Career Center team, who form an unmatched network of career support for Darden students. This is a special class that persevered through unprecedented uncertainty, and we are incredibly proud of our graduates’ success.”

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.


Press Contact

Molly Mitchell
Associate Director of Content Marketing and Social Media
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia