UVA Darden Releases Employment Report Showing Record Salaries, 100 Percent Internship Placement

16 February 2021

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business in February released its Full-Time MBA Class of 2020 Employment Report and Class of 2021 Internships Report.

In December, Darden released employment results for the full-time MBA Class of 2020, revealing the highest average starting salary in school history for the class at $139,945 and an average bonus of $33,266. Within 90 days of graduation, 91 percent of the class accepted a full-time employment offer while 93 percent received offers.

The full employment report from Darden’s Career Center dug deeper into the class’ career outcomes and longer-term employment trends for Darden’s graduating classes. It revealed that the nearly $140,000 average starting salary was, in fact, a record for the fifth year in a row, reflecting a $17,140 increase from average starting salaries for the graduating Class of 2016.

Despite disruption in the hiring market posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the 93 percent of students receiving offers within 90 days of graduation matched the mark set in three of the previous four years, only falling short of a record 97 percent receiving offers in the Class of 2019.

Grouped by employment industry, 41 percent of Class of 2020 graduates accepted jobs in consulting, 20 percent in technology and 19 percent in financial services. Of those accepting roles in the financial services industry, 58 percent accepted offers in investment banking with an average starting salary of $148,125.

By job function, 39 percent of the class accepted jobs in consulting positions, 20 percent in finance or accounting, 17 percent in general management, and 13 percent in marketing or sales.

Led by its Career Center, 78.5 percent of job acceptances were facilitated by the Darden School. Internships continued to play a crucial role in career outcomes as 53 percent of the class received a full-time offer as a result of summer internships following First Year.

An Internship for Every First Year

Despite the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on many companies’ internship programs, 100 percent of the full-time MBA Class of 2021 received a summer internship. Among the leading industries, 28 percent of the class interned with a financial services company, 21 percent with a consulting company, 17 percent with a technology company, 8 percent with a consumer packaged goods company and 8 percent with a health care company.

Due to decisions by many companies to shorten or cancel summer internships, Darden stepped in to support students with opportunities to fill their summers with meaningful work.

  • 41 Class of 2021 students participated in the Batten Venture Internship Program, in which the Batten Institute Fund provides a matching stipend to supplement the summer salary of students who pursue internships with startups, venture capital firms and closely held enterprises.
  • Seven Class of 2021 students participated in a Darden Impact Internship, which are full-time, paid internships with Darden’s faculty and executive staff leadership.
  • Seven Class of 2021 students participated in the Darden Nonprofit Internship Fund, which helps students defray summer living expenses while completing internships in the nonprofit and social sectors.

Learn more about the most recent career and internship outcomes for Darden full-time MBA students in the Full-Time MBA Class of 2020 Employment Report and Class of 2021 Internships Report.

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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Molly Mitchell
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia