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Duke MBA Employment Report: Team Fuqua’s Class of 2020 Success Stories

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The Duke MBA employment report has been released for the Daytime MBA Class of 2020 at the Fuqua School of Business. The report indicates full-time offers and school-facilitated job placement are both up over last year, and average first-year compensation reached a record high. Ninety percent of the Class of 2020 had a job offer by graduation, with 84 percent accepting, and 93 percent had an offer by three months after graduation with 91 percent accepting.

“Despite the challenges of this year’s market conditions, our graduates demonstrated a proactive, focused approach to their job searches. These qualities differentiated them as candidates by demonstrating the agility, grit, and courage that organizations need right now,” said Sheryle Dirks, Associate Dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Career Management Center.

Duke MBA Employment Report: Top 5 Industries

Consulting 31%
Technology 27%
Financial Services 18%
Healthcare 8%
Consumer Packaged Goods 5%

Duke MBA Employment Report: Top Cities

New York

Industry Placement

The consulting industry was number one for graduate jobs with 31 percent of the class accepting offers. Twenty-seven percent joined the technology industry.  Another 18 percent headed into financial, and eight percent chose health care jobs. Consumer packaged goods rounded out the top five industries with 5 percent of grads finding work in the field.

Careers in the technology industry have increased for Duke Fuqua MBA graduates over the last five years, and are up 4 percent over last year. Ecommerce and internet services accounted for around 40 percent of tech jobs and roughly 17 percent were in software. Fuqua expects technology jobs will only grow in demand as tech’s role as an innovation driver is relevant to all industries as well as consumers.

Regional Placement and Salary

Ninety-four percent of the class found work in the United States, including a significant portion of international students who weathered visa delays, job market disruption, and changing US immigration policies. The top five career destinations for Fuqua MBAs were New York, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, and Boston. “Year in and year out, Fuqua defies the stereotype of being a ‘southern school’ when it comes to job locations,” said Dirks.

The mean annual salary in 2020 reached $135,935 and the mean signing bonus was $35,032. These compensation numbers represent increases over last year and the combined first-year average compensation of $171,000 is an all-time high for Fuqua.

Fuqua’s Core Values Play a Role in Career Services

Eighty percent of jobs for the 2020 MBA class were sourced through school-facilitated activities. Rejecting the “any job you can get” approach proved vital to the class’s success. “As our Career Management Center (CMC) team helped students navigate the rapidly changing and uncertain circumstances, our philosophy remained the same,” said Dirks. “We teach and support students to perform a customized search based on their unique interests and values, and we share a commitment with them to finding what they define as meaningful work.”

Fuqua employed the traditional approaches with campus interviews, career forums, job postings, experiential learning, networking, and bringing speakers into classrooms and events. The school also took on a support role through virtual “drop-in” coaching that provided real-time assistance, training in virtual recruiting, and proactive outreach to prospective employers and alumni. In addition, Fuqua developed a program to match student volunteers with non-profit organizations that were affected by the pandemic, giving students real-world experience in social impact work.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.