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HBS MBA Employment Report Shows Class of 2021 Coming Out on Top

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See coverage of the HBS MBA Class of 2022 employment report here.

Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2021 epitomizes a class rebounding from pandemic disruptions like remote—or even cancelled—internships, hybrid learning, and a changed economy. The school’s latest employment report shows their success in an economy hungry for skilled workers.

At three months past graduation, 96 percent of the HBS MBA class had received an offer of employment, and 92 percent had accepted, up from 83 percent at the same point last year. Entrepreneurship drew many MBAs, especially to the technology sector. Of the 64 graduates who founded a business, 41 percent were in tech. Start-ups, defined as private organizations ten years old or less, were the career destination for 12 percent of graduates this year. Almost half of those positions—48 percent—are in the technology sector.

The school also had 14 graduates commit to social enterprise through Leadership Fellows, which places select graduates in high-impact, competitive-salaried management positions in the non-profit sector for one year. Launched in 2001, this is the 20th class to join the program.

Where did HBS MBA Grads Land Employment in 2021?

Positions in the financial services industry, including venture capital and private equity, were still the first choice for HBS MBAs with 35 percent taking them on. Consulting was next with 23 percent, followed by technology jobs at 19 percent. The healthcare and manufacturing industries rounded out the top five with six percent and four percent of students, respectively.

HBS MBA Employment Report:
Top 5 Industry Placement

Financial Services 35%
Consulting 23%
Technology 19%
Healthcare 6%
Manufacturing 4%

Eighty-seven percent of graduates stayed in the U.S. to work. The Northeast and the West were the biggest draws for the graduating class, with 71 percent finding work in just those two regions. Forty-nine percent remained in the Northeast, up eight percent over last year and the highest number in five years. Twenty-two percent of students moved to the West, down three percent from last year. The Southwest saw five percent of the class, the Mid-Atlantic four percent, and the Midwest and South just three percent each. Thirteen percent headed abroad for work. Europe had the biggest draw, claiming six percent of graduates, followed by Asia at four percent.

HBS MBA Employment Report:
U.S. Regional Placement

Northeast 49%
West 22%
Mid-Atlantic 5%
Midwest 4%
Southwest 3%
South 3%

The median base salary was $150,500, and 51 percent reported receiving a signing bonus, with a median bonus amount of $30,000.

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.