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Cornell Johnson Reports Record Highs in 2021 MBA Employment Report

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Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management 2021 MBA employment report shows encouraging growth over 2020 for Johnson graduates in terms of jobs, salaries and more. 

“Johnson students enjoyed outstanding placement success in 2021. We experienced record highs in offer rate, acceptance rate, average base salary, and average signing bonus, with particular strength in MBB Consulting, Tech and Investment Banking,” Cornell Johnson Dean Mark Nelson, PhD, tells Clear Admit. He adds, “An unprecedented number of recruiters interacted with our students, and we employed cutting-edge technology infrastructure to support virtual events and virtual interviews as appropriate.”

Three months after graduation, 97% of the Cornell MBA Class of 2021 received a job offer, and 95% had accepted an offer. That’s up significantly from 2020 when the numbers for offers and acceptances were at 93% and 90%, respectively. Recent MBA graduates reported starting their post-MBA careers with an average base salary of $139,121–a high for the program. The average reported signing bonus increased four percent over 2020 to $37,684, another record for the full-time MBA program.

Cornell MBA Industry & Regional Placement

Thirty-six percent of the Cornell MBA Class of 2021 entered financial services. Dean Nelson notes, “Johnson’s position as a recruiting pipeline for MBAs into financial services is evidenced not just by the number of graduates entering the industry, but by the 233 companies recruiting those in the program for full-time employment or internships, which includes Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan.”

Consulting followed as the second most popular industry choice, claiming 27% of graduates. Those who joined consulting also enjoy the highest average base salary across industries, of $148,389. Seventeen percent took on technology roles. Consumer products and manufacturing round out the top five industry choices, at six and five percent, respectively.

Cornell MBA Employment Report:
Top 5 Industry Placement

Financial Services 36%
Consulting 27%
Technology 17%
Consumer Products 6%
Manufacturing 5%

In the United States, 51% of the class remained in the Northeast for work. Thirteen percent started their post-MBA careers in the West and nine percent moved to the Midwest. Seven percent went to the Southwest, four percent to Mid-Atlantic states, and just three percent to the South.

Cornell MBA Employment Report:
U.S. Regional Placement

Northeast 51%
West 13%
Midwest 9%
Southwest 7%
Mid-Atlantic 4%
South 3%

The highest median base salaries were reported in the Northeast and Southwest, as each reported $150,000. But the Southwest recorded the highest average salary by region at $147,647, an increase over last year of 10%.

Dean Nelson adds, “The value of a Cornell MBA is at a historic high! We are undoubtedly proud of our talented students, our innovative curriculum (including our immersion programming and opportunity for study on both our Ithaca and NYC-based Cornell Tech campuses), and the loyal alumni, faculty and staff that support all of our efforts throughout the year.”

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.