As a long-standing member of Fuqua’s careers team, I’ve journeyed with our students through many economic cycles in recruiting and hiring. The global economy in recent years has been so unpredictable, though, that it’s made for an unusually bumpy ride.

Despite challenging circumstances, our graduates have enjoyed well-deserved success—both in traditional compensation and in quality of life measures, like finding work that is meaningful to their unique career goals and personal values.

Here are some insights surrounding the data in our 2022-2023 Daytime MBA Employment Report.

Record-Setting Salaries

Base salaries hit a record-high median of $175,000, a 9% increase over last year. While compensation is only one element of finding a right-fit role, continued salary gains signal how much the market values our graduates.

Within three months of graduation, 93% of our graduates received job offers, with 92% accepting those offers. While lower than last year, this isn’t surprising as companies have been more conservative in recruiting and hiring, with later offers as the natural result. Another impact of the current market is that some graduates had the start dates of their accepted offers pushed back, an approach employers may sometimes find necessary to retain top talent while adapting to reduced work volume.

We, like nearly all business schools, measure outcomes three months after graduation. Several graduates received and accepted offers right after this deadline, but because this standard is important and offers consistency in reporting employment results across our industry, their information isn’t reflected here…although we’re thrilled about their success!

Our team firmly believes the timing of an offer is not a measure of its quality. We encourage students to be proactive in pursuing an offer that is right for them, rather than accepting something that doesn’t feel like a strong fit. Our alumni careers team supports our graduates who are in an active search now, whether they are looking for niche roles, are re-starting their search after extended post-graduation travel or a move to their desired location, or other reasons. Simply put, what someone accepts is far more important than when it’s accepted!

Growth in Consulting and Financial Services

More of our graduates went into consulting this year, making up 43% of jobs accepted—a 7% increase from the previous year. Boston Consulting Group remains our top employer in consulting, with McKinsey a close second—nearly doubling the number of graduates it hired last year—with Bain and Deloitte rounding out the top four.

More students also went into financial services—up 5% from last year. The top hiring firms include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs.

The number of students taking positions with tech companies decreased by 6%—Amazon, Google, Adobe, and Dell hired the most graduates in this category. Tech hires decreased overall from last year, perhaps expected in light of workforce reductions across the industry. Many students refocused their interest to identify roles that focus on rapidly advancing technology and innovation in companies outside the traditional definition of the tech sector.  

Beyond the Data

I also want to highlight some ambitions not accounted for in the employment report data. We are seeing some graduates opt not to seek traditional employment in favor of starting a new business, and some graduates with delayed start dates are using their time and skills to support startups, nonprofits, and social enterprises.

I am proud of the Class of 2023 for pursuing roles that will fulfill their personal and professional goals, even when faced with a challenging job market which often means a longer and more difficult search. Amid such economic uncertainty, the outcomes are a testament not only to their talent but to their commitment and resilience as well.