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Wharton MBA Employment Report for 2021 Reveals Impressive Results for Grads

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See the Wharton MBA employment report for the Class of 2022 here.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has released its MBA employment report for the Class of 2021, and its successes point to a Wharton degree’s value in the job market. An impressive 99% of MBA graduates seeking employment received a job offer within three months of graduation, while 96.8% had accepted job offers. The median class salary was $155,000, a record high for the school.

Maryellen Reilly, Deputy Vice Dean of Wharton’s MBA Program, had this to say about the Class of 2021: “They are going to be great employees because they are used to making decisions with incomplete information, and they are incredibly resilient. They received an education unlike everyone who came before them.”

Wharton’s campus recruiting, alumni network, and internship programs facilitated graduates’ employment outcomes. About 57% of graduates reported getting their job offer through their summer internship program alone

“The class of 2021 were first-years when COVID started,” explained Reilly. “With what we saw happening as early as the middle of March 2020, we knew we needed to provide reinforcement.” Recognizing the increased challenges posed to students as the pandemic took hold, part of the Wharton MBA Career Management (MBACM) response was quickly implementing the Alumni Supporting Careers (ASC) program. Wharton tapped its influential alumni network to post available jobs for MBAs and have one-on-one conversations with students, especially if they had been through earlier economic and social crises like the dot-com bust and the Great Recession.

Alums reached out in significant numbers to give career advice in person or create video content. 

“This was a team effort,” said Reilly. “This was companies being nimble, students being resilient, hiring at another level of complexity. A network of students, staff, and employers is what makes 99% happen…and we are grateful!”

Wharton MBA Employment Report: The Industries and Regions Attracting Wharton Grads

Financial services careers are traditionally where the largest number of Wharton MBAs land, and according to the Wharton MBA employment report, 35.1% of the Class of 2021 found work in that sector. Graduates also flocked to consulting with 27.2% of jobs coming from that industry. Technology jobs were accepted by 18.6% of the class, healthcare 5.3%, and finally retail work with 2.5% to round out the top five industries.

Wharton MBA Employment Report:
Top 5 Industry Placement

Finance 35.1%
Consulting 27.2%
Technology 18.6%
Healthcare 5.3%
Retail 2.5%

Over 92% of graduates accepted jobs in the US. Almost half of graduates—47.5%—found work in the Northeast. The West was next most popular with 25.6%. The Mid-Atlantic states were the career destination for 9.9% of MBAs, the South 3.5%, Southwest 3.4%, and the Midwest 2.5%.

Wharton MBA Employment Report:
Top 5 U.S. Regional Placement

Northeast 47.5%
West 25.6%
Mid-Atlantic 9.9%
South 3.5%
Southwest 3.4%

The overall US median salary was $157,000, but in the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest, median salaries reached $165,000. The number of graduates receiving signing bonuses increased 2% over last year, while the median bonus amount remained unchanged at $30,000. The highest salaries by industry are unsurprisingly found in legal services at $190,000.

While less than 8% of the class went to work outside the US, it was Asia that benefited most, attracting more than half of those graduates with a median salary of $125,000.

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.