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10 most lucrative MBA degrees

October 14, 2014, 6:40 PM UTC
2013 Harvard University Commencement
CAMBRIDGE, MA - MAY 30: General atmosphere at 2013 Harvard University 362nd Commencement Exercises at Harvard University on May 30, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
Paul Marotta—Getty Images

1 Harvard Business School

Commencement at Harvard University in 2013.

20-Year Income: $3,233,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $138,346

Top Five Industry Choices:

  • Financial Services: 27%
  • Consulting: 22%
  • Technology: 18%
  • Manufacturing: 7%
  • Consumer Products: 6%

Data courtesy of Payscale.

2 Stanford Graduate School of Business

Students walk past Stanford University's Graduate School of Business

20-Year Income: $3,011,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $137,525

Top Five Industry Choices:

Technology: 32%
Financial Services: 26%
Consulting: 19%
Healthcare: 6%
Non-Profit: 5%

3 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

20-Year Income: $2,989,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $141,243

Top Five Industry Choices:

Financial Services: 39%
Consulting: 29%
Technology: 11%
Consumer Products & Retail: 7%
Healthcare: 4%

4 UC-Berkeley (Haas)

20-Year Income: $2,858,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $134,078

Top Five Industry Choices:

Technology: 33%
Consulting: 17%
Financial Services: 11%
Healthcare: 11%
Consumer Products & Retail: 7%

5 Columbia Business School

Columbia University

With a staggering breadth of course offerings and a New York location, Columbia has a faculty of young rising superstars and practiced and accomplished veterans. Though the school has a reputation as a "corporate law firm factory," public interest law is still a strong suit.

20-Year Income: $2,796,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $137,654

Top Five Industry Choices:

Financial Services: 38%
Consulting: 30%
Technology: 12%
Consumer Products & Retail: 8%
Real Estate: 3%

6 MIT (Sloan)

20-Year Income: $2,858,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $137,057

Top Five Industry Choices:

Consulting: 32%
Technology: 19%
Financial Services: 16%
Consumer Products & Retail: 14%
Healthcare: 5%

7 University of Virginia (Darden)

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia School of Law has a solid academic reputation, but another factor convinces many prospective students to enroll: current students don't want to leave. "They all typically wish they could be here forever, which is unheard of among people who go to law school," says Anne Richard, senior assistant dean for admissions. In fact, UVA has the highest rate of alumni giving among law schools—a sign of happy graduates, if there ever was one.

20-Year Income: $2,705,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $136,102

Top Five Industry Choices:

Consulting: 27%
Financial Services: 26%
Technology: 14%
Manufacturing: 12%
Consumer Products & Retail: 13%

8 Dartmouth College (Tuck)

20-Year Income: 2,703,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $139,036

Top Five Industry Choices:

Financial Services: 30%
Consulting: 27%
Technology: 13%
Consumer Products & Retail: 10%
Manufacturing: 6%

9 New York University (Stern)

Stern - NYU

Index: 90.4 2012 rank: 5 Total program cost: $157,000 Format: Alternating Friday-Saturday classes, with two global study tours Length of program: 22 months Class of 2014: 60 students Average age: 38 Average years of work experience: 14

20-Year Income: $2,639,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $131,975

Top Five Industry Choices:

Financial Services: 42%
Consulting: 23%
Consumer Products & Retail: 13%
Entertainment/Media/Technology: 10%
Non-Profits: 6%

10 UCLA (Anderson)

UCLA - Anderson

Index: 88.8 2012 rank: 6 Total program cost: $129,500 Format: Alternating Friday-Saturday classes, with five residential sessions Length of program: 22 months Class of 2014: 75 students Acceptance rate: 57% Average age: 36 Average years of work experience: 13 Average undergraduate GPA: 3.33 Average GMAT: 668

20-Year Income: $2,593,000

2013 Starting Salary & Bonus: $123,353

Top Five Industry Choices:

Technology: 26%
Financial Services: 20%
Consulting: 14%
Consumer Products & Retail: 14%
Entertainment/Media/Technology: 9%
Healhcare: 6%