Top MBA Career Placement Outcomes: Trends by U.S. Region
In this edition of our Top MBA Program Career Placement Outcomes series, we take a closer look at trends regarding which U.S. regions dominated post-MBA employment for Class of 2021 MBA graduates. You can also review our first piece, which broke down schools by region and their regional placement.
For our analysis, we used the statistics in the official employment reports from 27 full-time MBA programs* based in the United States. In particular, we focused on MBA graduates of these 27 MBA programs who are seeking employment, received an offer, and accepted an offer. Next, we compared the U.S. Region where the MBA Class of 2021 graduates attended business school vs. the U.S. region where the Class of 2021 graduates’ post-MBA jobs were located. Here is a visual map of the U.S. regions:
We then aggregated these numbers for the 6,952 Class of 2021 graduates who accepted jobs after graduating from 27 U.S. full-time MBA programs.
Key Career Outcome Trends in MBA Class of 2021 by Region
The key takeaway is that a majority of MBA graduates from 27 leading full-time U.S. MBA programs accepted jobs in either the Northeast (29.6%) or West Coast (29.3%) regions of the U.S. This is likely due to the popularity of working for finance, consulting and tech firms that have offices in large coastal cities in the U.S. West (Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles) and in the U.S. Northeast (New York City and Boston). Now, let’s review the data by region.
Of the members of the MBA Class of 2021 who accepted jobs, the highest percentage of these graduates attended business school in the Northeast (27.8%) and accepted jobs in the Northeast (29.6%). This is because there are a large number of full-time MBA programs located in the Northeast, including MBA programs with large class sizes such as Harvard Business School (HBS). In addition, the U.S. Northeast region includes both New York City and Boston, which are home to many jobs in finance, tech, media and healthcare, which attract many MBA graduates from programs across the U.S.
The West is a very popular destination for MBA graduates from programs located throughout the U.S.. 29.3% of the Class of 2021 MBA grads from 27 MBA programs who accepted jobs decided to accept jobs in the U.S. West, despite the fact that only 13.4% of them attended a business school in the U.S. West. The West is home to many tech and media industry firms, which are popular with MBA graduates.
While 23.2% of the Class of 2021 graduates attended MBA programs in the Midwest, the region only attracts 11.7% of Class of 2021 graduates accepting jobs. A lot of these MBA graduates from Midwest based MBA programs are lured to jobs in other regions, including the West, Northeast and Southwest. It is interesting that there is a net drain of MBA graduates out of the Midwest, especially considering that Chicago and Minneapolis have a number of large employers.
Similar to the Midwest, 19.2% of Class of 2021 graduates accepting jobs graduated from MBA programs located in the Mid-Atlantic region, but only 7.5% of these graduates accepted a job in the Mid-Atlantic region. Instead, these graduates often accepted jobs in the U.S. Northeast and U.S. West. Partly, this is due to the fact that Wharton is located in the Mid-Atlantic region, but sends a lot of graduates to jobs in the Northeast. In addition, Washington, D.C. has a large economy – and does include the new Amazon headquarters – but the D.C., economy historically tends to attract more lawyers and public policy professionals than MBA graduates. As such, it makes sense that MBA graduates might look farther afield for their post-MBA careers.
While only 5.1% of the MBA graduates accepting jobs graduated from MBA programs located in the Southwest, this region attracted 9.2% of graduates accepting jobs from these 27 business schools. The Southwest is popular with MBA graduates due to the strong Texas economy, including the tech scene in Austin and the energy industry in Houston.
While 11.2% of the MBA graduates accepting jobs graduated from the MBA programs located in the South, only 6.4% of MBA graduates from the 27 MBA programs accepted jobs in the South. Instead, graduates from MBA programs located in the South were also likely to accept jobs in the Northeast and West. This is likely driven by the desire of MBA graduates to work in industries such as tech and finance that are more predominantly located in other regions.
While the leading full-time U.S. MBA programs have substantial numbers of international students, most graduates seeking and accepting jobs elect to accept a job in the U.S. post-MBA.
In conclusion, a few key trends emerge in this Top MBA Career Placement Outcomes coverage of trends in the U.S. by region:
- MBA graduates attending full-time MBA programs in the U.S. are drawn to post-MBA jobs in the U.S. West, U.S. Northeast and U.S. Southwest. This is likely due to the popularity of working for tech companies in the West and financial firms located in the Northeast.
- Graduates of U.S. full-time MBA programs located in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and the South often seek out jobs outside of their region – typically in the West and Northeast.
“MBA graduates across the U.S. are drawn to jobs that are primarily located in a handful of big cities near the coasts in the U.S. – whether in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles on the West Coast or New York City and Boston in the Northeast. This data underlines the popularity of jobs in finance, tech and consulting in these big cities,” noted Graham Richmond, Co-Founder of Clear Admit.
*27 U.S.-based MBA Programs by region: Northeast – Cornell Johnson, Dartmouth Tuck, HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern and Yale SOM; West – Berkeley Haas, Stanford GSB, UCLA Anderson and USC Marshall; Midwest – Chicago Booth, Indiana Kelley, Michigan Ross, Minnesota Carlson, Northwestern Kellogg, and Notre Dame Mendoza; South – Duke Fuqua, Emory Goizueta, UNC Kenan-Flagler and Vanderbilt Owen; Mid-Atlantic – CMU Tepper, Georgetown McDonough, UPenn Wharton, UVA Darden; Southwest – Rice Jones, SMU Cox and UT Austin McCombs.