Our previous articles on bachelors or undergraduate degree in business have covered a range of topics including the following:
It thus follows the natural order of things for us to cover the outcome of getting said business degree in the undergraduate level, as well.
In this article, we will focus on the placement statistics of some of best known, as well as lesser known, undergraduate business degrees in the US.
We have collated the data only from the business schools that have released undergraduate reports. Schools that don’t provide exclusive business degree employment stats are not covered in this article.
When it comes to talking about business degrees, MBA, or similar post-grad Masters degrees, generally get the top spot whereas undergrad business degrees/courses receive very little limelight.
In fact, studies like the one done by Georgetown University on The Economic Value of College Majors, the rewards of continued education in Business in terms of position and salary are quite high.
In Business Economics, undergraduates make between $51,000 to $110,000 whereas graduates make between $65,000 to $152,000. Similarly, in Business Management and Administration, undergraduates (BBA and its cousins) make between $43,000 to $92,000 and MBA graduates happily make between $53,000 to $119,000.
But does that mean undergrad business degrees are not worth it? Depends. The early entry can easily translate into valuable work experience which has the potential to compensate for the lack of a graduate level MBA training.
For instance, according to a Payscale study, mid-career pay, for business undergrads, tend to be around $120,000, in the US.
A QS TopMBA report on jobs and salaries for MBA graduates show an average annual salary of $124,000 in North America (Read Average MBA starting salaries).
Thus, a good undergrad business program can give decent returns. Perhaps that is why the number of enrollments for business undergraduates have increased over the past.
From about 115K in the 1970s, this major has seen more than a doubling of enrollments to about 360K student enrollments in 2014-2015, according to stats from the National Center for Education Statistics (Source).
Business undergraduates often gain entry level positions in various industry specializations in business – a majority in Consulting and Financial Services, with a healthy sprinkling of Technology Management, Consumer Goods, Real Estate, Marketing, Healthcare, Accounting, and more. Here are some of the popular employers in America.
|AT Kearney||Accenture||Capital One||Deloitte|
|McKinsey||JPMorgan Chase||Goldman Sachs||Microsoft|
|Morgan Stanley||Boeing||Bain & Co||Applied Materials||Amazon|
|IBM||Rothschild Inc.||Teach for America||PwC||Sony|
|Wells Fargo||United Airlines||Qualcomm||Credit Suisse|
Popular job functions include Financial Analyst, Financial Modeling Consultant, Derivatives Analyst, Digital Marketing Analyst, Investment Banking Analyst, Product Designer, Strategic Marketing Manager, Technology Consultant, etc.
Given their lack of practical exposure and networking connections, like the MBAs get as part of their education, undergraduates have a tougher time gaining the confidence of employers. Business undergraduates have to rely on university reputation and the career services that their alma mater has to offer.
Does that mean only top business schools covet the best placement spots? No. History seems to indicate that certain lesser known business schools do manage to create excellent opportunities for these undergrads.
For instance, as has been covered by Poets&Quants, Northeastern University’s Business programs offer its students co-op experience, as part of their curriculum, whereby those paid opportunities at corporations transform into job offers.
Same goes for schools where undergrads are offered relevant internship positions. Most internships convert to full-time offers for entry level positions.
The secret to good placement is the ability of the business school to integrate personal and professional development in the undergrad curriculum, besides laying a strong foundation of the basic concepts to get their foot in the corporate door.
Placement is also influenced by the career services’ ability to rope in recruiters whose requirements match the skill set of the undergrads. Thus, a career service which understands the right “fit” and is able to match employers to the students can end up having quite well-placed and satisfied customers, on both ends.
A dedicated career service team that sets up employer connections or keeps them in the loop for placement events, does play a vital role.
Strong alumni network, within the recruiting community, can also boost their trust on the next generation graduates. Of course, tertiary assistance like resume writing, cover letters, interview preparation, etc can help carry the torch further.
This is not an exhaustive list of undergrad b-schools, but it does provide an insight into the placement trends. The list also doesn’t contain the usual champions of MBA programs like Harvard as it doesn’t have any exclusive undergrad business program.
The courses included are BBA, BSBA, or Economics degrees. We have also provided the average salary and percentage of graduates enrolled to get advanced degrees.
|School||Percentage of graduates who secured full-time positions||Salary||Percentage of graduates enrolled for continuing education|
|Clarkson University School of Business||95%||$60,000||–|
|Fordham University – Gabelli School of Business||77%||$60,667||13%|
|George Washington University||80%||$60,027||13%|
|Boston University -Questrom||92%||$64,067||–|
|University of Pennsylvania – Wharton||94.7%||$80,566||2%|
|University of Michigan Ross BBA||98%||$72,000||–|
|University of Wisconsin Madison||89%||$58,684||–|
|Ohio State University||72%||$54,740||–|
|University of California Berkeley Haas||90%||$60,000 – $90,000||3%|
|Carnegie Mellon – Tepper||83%||$77,000||4%|
|University of Texas at Austin McCombs BBA||85%||$62,572||15%|
|University of Illinois Urbana Champaign||99%||–||–|
|University North Carolina – Kenan Flagler||85%||$66,667||10%|
|Michigan State University – Eli Broad||71%||$59,503||23%|
|Pennsylvania State University – Smeal||82%||$60,093||11%|
|Washington University at St Louis – Olin||97%||$67,115||–|
|University of Maryland – Smith||78%||–||–|
|Emory University – Goizueta BBA||96%||$54,000 – $74,000||–|
|University of Minnesota – Carlson||97%||$57,000||–|
|University of Colorado Boulder – Leeds||92%||$51,000||–|
|University of Virginia – McIntire||91%||$72,297||4%|
|Texas A&M University – Mays||73%||$55,984||–|
|University of Notre Dame – Mendoza||85%||$64,000||10%|
|Georgetown University – McDonough||93%||$68,537||6%|
|University of Arizona – Eller||76%||$53,058||13%|
|University of Massachusetts – Isenberg||60%||$65,000||12%|
Research your options well. Good luck with your business undergraduate plans and drop us a line at info[at]mbacrystalball[dot]com for your college admissions consulting help.
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