UC Berkeley MBAs are landing $185K-plus pay packages right after graduation

BY Sydney LakeOctober 28, 2022, 5:31 PM
A bicyclist passes Berkeley Haas signage on the University of California, Berkeley campus in Berkeley, California, as seen in August 2022. (Photographer: David Odisho—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Students who graduated from MBA programs in the spring are now in the workforce—and early reports indicate that 2022 was a big year for MBA recruitment. In fact, top-ranked business schools reported salary increases nearing the 10% mark. 

Ivy League business schools tend to get a lot of attention due to their branding, rigor of their programs, and success of their graduates, but West Coast schools also produce strong MBA grads. And the University of California—Berkeley Haas School of Business reports a more than 6% increase in pay packages for its 2022 MBA graduates. Fortune ranks UC Berkeley as having the No. 13 full-time MBA program in the U.S.

The average base salary for 2022 MBA grads from UC Berkeley was nearly $153,000, almost $10,000 more than the 2021 average. Plus, nearly 75% of the class earned average signing bonuses in excess of $33,000, and 43% of the class received stock grants or options in their compensation packages. 

“What made this year so exciting is the extraordinary demand for our MBA graduates and the appetite for their skills, including an ability to lead and innovate in a changing, diverse world,” Abby Scott, assistant dean of MBA career management and corporate partnerships, said in a statement announcing the 2022 salary report.

The median base salary for UC Berkeley’s class of 2022 was $155,000. By comparison, the median base salary for all MBA graduates is $115,000, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council. That’s a nearly 30% premium for attending a top business school.

This year, the most popular career path for UC Berkeley grads was technology, with about one-third of the class pursuing the field. The mean base salary for UC Berkeley grads who landed tech jobs was more than $150,000 with an average signing bonus of about $41,000; that brings their starting pay package to nearly $200,000 immediately after graduation. 

“Our students do well at tech companies because of our strong general management education,” Scott previously told Fortune. “The analytical rigor of our program serves them well in environments where they will be called upon to lead cross-functional, global teams and to make decisions based on data.”

The top three hiring firms for 2022 UC Berkeley MBA grads were Amazon, Bain & Co., and McKinsey & Co. Consulting is another field popular among UC Berkeley grads, much like other top business schools. At UC Berkeley, 28% of the 2022 graduating class took a job in the field, earning a mean base salary of almost $167,000 (or a median base salary of $175,000) and a mean signing bonus of more than $30,000. 

Financial services also had a strong showing with almost 14% of the class landing a job in the field. They earned mean base salaries of nearly $142,000 and signing bonuses of more than $31,000.

Cost and competition for a UC Berkeley MBA

UC Berkeley has one of the top business schools in the country and in 2021, the full-time MBA program had an acceptance rate of just 17.6%, one of the lowest among the top 20 schools, as ranked by Fortune.

The UC Berkeley full-time MBA class of 2024 (students who enrolled in 2022) has 247 students. The average GMAT score for these students was 729, and students had, on average, more than five years of professional work experience and a 3.64 undergraduate GPA. 

In terms of cost, earning an MBA from UC Berkeley can set you back close to $232,000. One year of tuition is $67,424 for California residents and $76,433 for non-residents. Other costs include housing, supplies, transportation, health insurance, and personal expenses, which can bring the cost to $107,168 for California residents and $116,178 for non-residents per year.

UC Berkeley does offer merit-based and supplemental scholarships to full-time MBA grads. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the Haas School of Business awarded $13 million in scholarships to its full-time MBA students.

See how the schools you’re considering fared in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s degree programs in data science (in-person and online), nursing, computer science, cybersecurity, psychology, public health, and business analytics, as well as the doctorate in education programs and MBA programs (part-time, executive, full-time, and online).