5 Takeaways From Darden’s New Employment Report

Graduates standing on the Lawn talking

2019 graduates of the Darden School of Business fared well in the job market, breaking records for starting salaries and job offers accepted. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

The Class of 2019 of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business broke or tied several of the school’s employment records and had plenty of other good news to share, according to a Darden employment report released this week

The report tracked job outcomes for full-time MBA students in the Class of 2019 and internship placements for the Class of 2020. According to Jeff McNish, Darden’s assistant dean of career development, the results highlight the talent and dedication of Darden students and the career services staff working to support them.

“These outcomes indicate a strong employment market and, at the same time, reflect two achievements: first, Darden’s talented student body; and second, the strong partnership between our students and the career center,” McNish said.

Here are five key takeaways from the Class of 2019’s results.

Highest Starting Salaries in School History

Darden’s full-time MBA Class of 2019 received the highest starting salary in school history, with an average base salary of $135,168.

That is about a $7,400 increase over the Class of 2018’s average starting salary, which was $127,767.

Highest Percentage of Offers Accepted

The 2019 class also achieved a high-water mark for job offers accepted within 90 days after graduation, with 96% of the class accepting a full-time job offer in that time period.

14-Year High in Offers Received

In addition to breaking the record for offers accepted, the Class of 2019 tied a record for offers received within 90 days of graduation; 97% received at least one full-time job offer in that time, tying a record set by the Class of 2005.

McNish said the student experience at Darden – including a strong general management curriculum, interactive case method teaching, and partnerships between students, faculty and staff – sets graduates apart in the job market.

“All of these elements add up to create a great student experience, and this student experience leads to great confidence in the job search process,” he said. “Employers respond positively to that confidence.”

He also praised the school’s enthusiastic alumni base.

“Our alumni encourage their companies to recruit at Darden, and they keep coming back because of our students’ talent and our alumni’s dedication,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

Double-Digit Gains for International Students

International students fared particularly well in the job market, reporting double-digit gains in offers accepted. Ninety-four percent of students without permanent U.S. work authorization accepted a full-time job offer within 90 days, up from 82% last year.

Many international students took advantage of Darden’s specialization in management science, which is a designated STEM degree and can improve their chances of employment in the U.S.

“Our international students really stood out, which is great news,” McNish said. “They did very well in the job market, both in the U.S. and abroad.”

A Variety of Industries and Locations

At least one 2019 Darden graduate went into each of the 14 industries tracked by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, which provides national standards for MBA employment reports.

Of those industries, consulting attracted 35% of 2019 Darden graduates, followed by 24% in financial services and 15% in technology.

Ninety-four percent of the class accepted roles in the U.S., with 31% in the Northeast, 19% in the Mid-Atlantic, 17% in the West, 12% in the South, 8% in the Southwest and 7% in the Midwest. Internationally, 3% of graduates accepted jobs in Asia and 2% in Latin America.