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Undergraduate Business Schools with Highest Starting Salaries

Undergraduate Business Schools with highest starting Salaries

They say early bird gets the worm. Business enthusiasts, who start early and manage to dig at the right spots for the fattest one, certainly get far more than the taste of worm-bits (ugh!). We keep harping on the choice of the right business school for your graduate MBA program.

Truth be told, this is generally good advice no matter at what stage you are about to board your ship of business theorie(u)s – be it graduate or undergraduate. Especially for a professional field of study like business.

What makes an undergraduate business degree desirable?

Undergraduate business degrees range from the understudy version of the celebrated MBA, the BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration) or its versions of Business Management degrees – Bachelor of Science in Business Administration BSBA, Bachelor of Management Studies BMA or BBM, etc – to other area specific studies in Accounting, Finance, Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, Economics, etc.

Each has a focus on laying a basic foundation of the field with bits of practical training to sally along into an early career in business management or its close allies. Read Best Undergraduate Degrees for Business

The graduate MBA degree may be of shorter duration, spanning one to two years at most. It is still one of the most expensive degrees out there with yearly costs ranging from $50k to $100k and above.

Though undergraduate degrees generally last longer and may end up costing a pretty penny annually, it still has the advantage of the relative fast track towards a business career. Thus, undergraduates who choose a program, degree, and school, wisely, end up being the smarter for it.

The leg up on a fat salary package, to begin paying off the education loan, helps to build its case as compared to the graduate MBA counterparts who generally face the compromise of stalling their careers for an education break.

The extra years of work experience in the field also helps build a strong profile for an accelerated career growth or for making an entry into further studies, whichever fancies the recent graduate’s desire.

Employers too tend to be quite receptive to undergraduates in business. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2018 survey, recruiters, who responded to the survey, have a keen eye on undergraduates looking to hire over 80% of the fresh out of school batch.

Further drilling reveals that the major most in demand by recruiters is Business (~86%) followed by various Engineering (~67%) and Computer and Information Sciences (~58%). Another salary survey from NACE, from 2015, showed that the median salary for undergraduate business majors, in the US, is about $50,000.

As far as area specific salaries are concerned, in the US, majors like Actuarial Science can earn upwards of $100k, Public Relations specialists can make anywhere between $60k to $100k, Economics majors from $50k to $100k, Finance between $80k to $120k, and such.

In the UK, Actuaries who are recent graduates can make about $45k annually (Source) and an entry level Financial Analyst can make about $60k.

With the advantage of relatively low cost of business education, as compared to MBA, and relatively decent demand from recruiters looking to hire young individuals who are well exposed to the concepts of business, these degrees have proven to be quite beneficial, as long as the motivation behind getting them is solidly founded.

The interest being that apparent, it is then a matter of deciding which college lets you have a chance at the biggest piece of the pie. That is, which university gives you the best undergraduate business training to be hired with a desirable compensation waiting at the other end of the graduation hall.

These depend on not only the quality of training but also the career services provided to these undergrads, the professional relationship that these universities have managed through alumni network and recruiters, and the academic reputation built among the employers.

In this article, we take the College Salary Report, put together by Payscale, for the highest salary potential among undergraduate business schools in the US. The data is based on alumni survey. For universities, outside of the US, we turn to surveyed data from

In the case of Payscale, the data only reflects fresh undergraduate salaries and not the change in salaries for alumni who went on to receive higher degrees. For the later, the salaries presented here portray the earning potential of Bachelor’s graduates from the corresponding universities, with, without or adjacent to a business major, unless otherwise mentioned.

Highest Paying Business Schools for Undergraduates in USA

In the table below, we list some of the best paying universities for undergraduate degrees in business. The “Early Career Salary” reflects the compensation upon being hired as a fresh out of school graduate. The “20 year Return on Investment” reflects the expected returns when the gains in salary is compared to the expenses of getting said undergraduate degree – tuitions, living costs, etc.

Business School Early Career Salary 20 year ROI
University of California Berkeley $81,400 $1,097,000
University of Pennsylvania $81,000 $842,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology $80,200
Stanford University $75,800
Worcester Polytechnic Institute $75,500 $838,000
Georgetown University $74,900 $872,000
Emory University $73,200 $887,000
Claremont McKenna College $72,400
Lafayette College $72,200 $640,000
Rice University $72,100
Carnegie Mellon University $71,900 $654,000
University of Notre Dame $71,700 $755,000
Santa Clara University $71,700 $801,000
University of Virginia $71,400 $831,000
College of Holy Cross $71,000
Brown University $70,700 $793,000
Cornell University $70,200 $713,000
Lehigh University $70,200 $801,000
Babson College $69,400 $759,000
Tufts University $69,100

Other universities like NYU, Boston College, USC, Harvard, Duke, Boston University, Hofstra, University of Texas Austin, Vanderbilt, Seattle University, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, Brigham Young, University of Washington, Illinois Urbana Champaign, and many more also feature in Payscale’s list of business schools that pay well after undergrad.

Also read Best Undergraduate Business Schools in the world.

Salary for Undergraduate Business Graduates around the world

Here is a list of some of the universities with the best business schools, from around the world, as gathered from here. We take a look at the salary potential of their undergraduates.

Unless otherwise mentioned, the salaries are not necessarily for business majors, but rather the earning potential of any bachelor graduate.

School Country Salary Potential
University of Mannheim Germany $65,000
ESSEC France $62,000
Australian National University Australia $66,000
Melbourne University Australia $80,000
University of Sydney Australia $97,000
University of Queensland Australia $81,000
RMIT (BBA) Australia $76,000
Deakin University Australia $90,000
University of British Columbia (BBA) Canada $105,000
University of Toronto Canada $82,000
McGill University Canada $77,000
University of Western Ontario Canada $85,000
University of Waterloo Canada $85,000
Nanyang Technological University Singapore $73,000
Nanyang Business School (BBA) Singapore $75,000
ESADE (BBA) Spain $59,000
Bradford University School of Management UK $55,000

So, there it is. A sense of what you might make if you were to choose the early business career. Just as long as you research your schools and programs – how they are perceived in the employer’s world and how much would they be likely to compensate.

For further reading, we would recommend the following articles.

How to select the right university for your undergraduate degree?
Top universities in the world for undergraduate studies
Undergraduate Business School Acceptance Rates
Undergraduate Business School with the best Placement
Average MBA starting salaries
Mid-career MBA salaries
Best Undergraduate Business Schools for Finance, Accounting, Investment Banking (Wall Street), Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Consulting