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Duke Fuqua MBA 2021 Employment Report: Graduates Set Records in Salary and Employment Rates

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See coverage of the Duke Fuqua MBA employment report for the Class of 2022 here.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has released its 2021 MBA Employment Report, and the Class of 2021 has set new records for the school in annual salary and employment rates.

Duke Fuqua MBA Employment Records

At the three-month post-graduation mark, 98 percent of MBAs had received a job offer, and acceptances reached 96 percent, a five percent jump from 2020. International students saw a seven percent increase in their employment rate over last year to 94%. Sherlye Dirks, Associate Dean for Career Management, attributes the latter success to Fuqua’s Management Science and Technology Management (MSTeM) credential, which grants two additional years of US work authorization for those eligible.

The average annual salary for the Class of 2021 is $141,109, an increase of four percent over last year’s average. The average signing bonus reported is $34,958. Graduates landed 80 percent of job placements through school-facilitated activities, either through a school-sponsored internship, interview, or job posting. The school boasts 131 unique employers hiring from the graduating class. 

Dirks said in the report, “I’m especially proud of our students’ successes amid a backdrop of continued uncertainty and change. The resilience necessary for each Fuqua student to secure their desired position during the turbulence of 2021 tells an important story: not only about them, but also about the strength of our faculty, curriculum, experiential learning, recruiting, and career resources. In a challenging year, our students thrived.”

Where Duke Fuqua MBA Careers Begin: Industry and Regional Trends

Consulting has long been the number one draw for Fuqua MBA graduates, with nearly a third—32%—joining the industry. This is also where the highest average salary is reported at $158,293. The technology industry, continuing its five-year increasing trend, recruited 27% of graduates, while 17% went to financial services, 10% to healthcare, and 6% to consumer packaged goods.

Fuqua MBA Employment Report:
Top 5 Industry Placement

Consulting 32%
Technology 27%
Financial Services 17%
Healthcare 10%
Consumer Packaged Goods 6%

The pandemic is still impacting travel, visas, and graduates’ interest in global positions for the near future. As a result, 97 percent of the class stayed in the US to begin their careers. While New York City is still the single top destination for Fuqua MBAs, the Northeast saw just 23 percent of the class find work there while 28 percent now claim the US West as their home, most drawn to Seattle. The South received 21 percent of the class, primarily in Atlanta, the third most popular US city for Fuqua MBAs. The bottom end of the regional breakdown saw the Midwest gain 11 percent of the class, the Southwest nine percent, and the Mid-Atlantic states eight percent.

Fuqua MBA Employment Report:
U.S. Regional Placement

West 28%
Northeast 23%
South 21%
Midwest 11%
Southwest 9%
Mid-Atlantic 8%
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.