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Wharton Publishes 2018 MBA Employment Report, Announces $25M Gift

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Lots of news out of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania recently. Employment statistics have been published for the most recent graduating class, and a big donation will fund a cool new building dedicated to entrepreneurship in West Philadelphia as well as more international scholarships for undergraduates.

Here’s what’s going on at the Wharton School.

2018 Employment Report

The 2018 MBA Career Report revealed a slight increase in job offers and salaries with finance drawing in more students than ever. In 2018, 36.9 percent of full-time MBA graduates went into financial services (up from 33 percent last year). Consulting lured the second most graduates at 25 percent, down from 28 percent in 2017. As for technology—the third most sought-after industry—this year there was a small dip down to 14.9 percent from 16 percent in 2017.

Employment Summary

Overall, of the 77.9 percent of Wharton MBA graduates seeking employment, 98.4 percent received a job offer 90 days post-graduation, and 94.6 percent accepted. For the remaining 17.2 percent not seeking employment—140 students—84 returned to their current company (60 percent), 34 started their own company (24 percent), 17 postponed their job search (12 percent), and five students gave another reason (3 percent).

As for top employers, many prominent companies hired two or more graduates including Accenture Strategy, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Bain & Company, Deloitte Consulting, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, and Tesla.

Salaries Rise $5,000

Wharton MBA salaries continued their climb, with the school reporting a $5,000 increase in total median base salary, bringing that figure to $135,000 in 2018. The highest median salary—$180,000—went to graduates heading into professional services, followed by venture capital at $175,000 and hedge fund managers at $162,000.

As for regional differences in salaries, the 42.7 percent of Wharton MBA graduates who accepted positions in the Northeastern United States commanded a median salary of $140,000. Another 23.2 percent of grads headed to the West, where the median annual salary was $135,000. The Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., with its median annual salary of $139,000, drew the third largest percentage of grads, at 7.7 percent. Interestingly, those who took jobs in the Midwest and South reported the biggest paydays, with a median salary of $150,000. This was trailed by the Southwest, with a median annual salary of $145,000.

Another 11.7 percent of the graduating class sought post-graduation employment outside the United States, where salaries on the whole were lower. In Latin America, the median annual salary is $92,000. Salaries are slightly better in Europe, where the median is $119,000, and best in Asia, at $126,000.

$25 Million Gift for Scholarships and New Hall

Right on the heels of publishing its employment statistics last week, the Wharton School also announced a $25 million gift. The transformative gift will go toward constructing Tangen Hall, the first-ever dedicated space for cross-campus entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania. It will also establish an international scholarship fund.

“This gift not only represents a profound commitment to Penn and Wharton student financial aid; it also energizes our entire campus community through Tangen Hall, a game-changing facility for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology,” said Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett in a press release.

Nicolai Tangen, W’92

Alumnus Donation

Nicolai Tangen, the founder of London-based investment partnership AKO Capital and 1992 Wharton undergraduate alumnus, encouraged the AKO foundation to donate as part of Wharton’s More Than Ever fundraising campaign.

“Katja and I are continually inspired by Penn students and pleased to have the opportunity to engage with them and set them up for success,” said Tangen in a release. “We look forward to their many achievements in the years ahead and to witnessing how this new building will bring together the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators to share their talents with one another and for the greater good.”

Tangen Hall

Tangen Hall will be located at 40th and Sansom Streets and will offer students almost 70,000 square feet of space to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. The hall will bring together students from across the university to participate in the new Venture Lab. Also, the building will become the new home of many entrepreneurship-focused programs including:

  • Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship
  • Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program
  • Weiss Tech House
  • Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center
  • Wharton Small Business Development Center
  • The Master’s Level Integrated Product Design Program

Tangen Hall will have dozens of meeting and collaboration spaces for students, retail space for student ventures, a test kitchen, a maker lab with 3D printers and laser cutters, a VR cave, and a café.

“Tangen Hall marks a new chapter for the entrepreneurial community at Penn and in Philadelphia, providing a central hub for the groundbreaking innovations that happen here every day,” said Wharton Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Karl Ulrich. “This physical space will allow faculty to more strongly support students who turn ideas into outcomes that will transform business for years to come.”

Construction will begin in 2019 with completion slated for 2020.

International Scholarship Fund

Beyond Tangen Hall, the $25 million will also go toward a new Katja and Nicolai Tangen International Endowed Scholarship, which will provide funding for international undergraduate students. The goal is to help students who could otherwise not afford a Penn education.

It’s the fourth scholarship made possible thanks to the AKO Foundation and the Tangens. So far, they’ve supported a total of 22 Penn students since 2012.

“We are profoundly grateful to Nicolai and Katja Tangen for their extraordinary commitment to extend opportunities for entrepreneurship to all Penn students,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “We are also grateful that Nicolai and Katja are expanding their steadfast scholarship support, enabling the best students from every part of the world to attend Penn, to thrive in their studies, and to serve communities worldwide.”

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.