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Darla Moore School of Business

Moore School MBA job placement, average starting salaries reach record high

Sept. 17, 2019

The Darla Moore School of Business is seeing huge returns on students’ investments with historic job placement rates and increases in starting salaries.

The results of a significant restructuring of the full-time MBA programs two years ago are showing up where it counts — in employment data.

This year, 90 days after graduation, 84 percent of full-time MBAs had jobs compared to 71 percent in 2018. Importantly, average MBA salaries increased to $95,398 in 2019 from $82,694 in 2018.

“The dean’s focus on strengthening the core MBA curriculum along with the school offering a graduate certificate in business analytics in lieu of a new degree or stand-alone analytics program has served us extremely well,” said Jennifer Ninh, managing director of the school’s full-time MBA programs. “The focus on business analytics gives all MBAs the advanced quantitative training much needed in the business world today. That will continue to bolster the USC MBA reputation long after the trend for specialized analytics degrees starts to fade.”

To make them more competitive in the job market, all graduate students are strongly encouraged to learn how to analyze data in functional domains. More than 90 percent of full-time MBAs and many Professional MBA students in this year’s graduating class completed graduate certificates in business analytics.

For undergraduates, this is no longer a matter of choice. As a result of the 2015 undergraduate curriculum redesign and the subsequent changes that were part of the Academic Excellence Initiative, all Moore School undergraduates now leave the school data proficient, analytically capable and functionally based, all essential for high-value 21st-century work.

Of the 1,086 undergraduate students who graduated in May 2019, the Moore School’s largest class ever, 84 percent reported they were employed 90 days after graduation. Further, average salaries reported were also at the highest ever this year at $57,837. In 2014 before the new curriculum shift from two years to four years, undergraduate average salaries 90 days after graduation were $47,920, and placement was 62 percent.

In addition to the curriculum redesign for undergraduates and graduate students, Brews’ doubling of the Office of Career Management staff and increase in the Office of Alumni Engagement personnel also contributed to the job placement success. Alumni and corporate partners are also increasingly stepping up to open doors and employ the talented students graduating from the Moore School.

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