The following aggregated salary data has been pulled for UCLA Anderson’s Class of 2012 from REIS, or the Recruiting and Employment Insights System. REIS is basically a “salary transparency” service created by an Anderson alumni to empower MBA students during the offer negotiations process. You can’t look up any one person’s individual salary, but you can look at consolidated views for your own school by industry, function, and company. REIS used to be called SalaryView, and I assume they had to change the name for legal reasons (because the name REIS is much worse).
Looking at the data, you can see that there does appear to be some correlation between the amount of salary offered and how many students end up working for a particular specialization. This would imply that students in our MBA program are generally recruiting for higher paying jobs. Real Estate and Public Sector jobs are predictably at the bottom of the scale while Consulting and Technology positions offer the highest base salary. One interesting data point is Entertainment & Media, which shows a relatively high base salary for given the stories about how difficult it is to recruit for this industry, but many different types of positions can be grouped in this category.
However, there are a number of issues with the data to consider before making any conclusions:
- No Mandatory Reporting – It’s still a bit odd to me, but Anderson doesn’t really have a mandatory salary reporting rule, even though this metric plays a significant role in our overall rankings. Therefore, some students haven’t reported their job placement and are therefore not present in this data set. People with lower salaries tend to be less likely to report their job placement.
- Recruiting Office Adjustments – Some of this data gets adjusted before it goes to the ranking publications to fix errors and probably fill in some of the aforementioned unreported data points. I obviously don’t get any feedback on that process until I see it in the rankings.
- Industry versus Functional Grouping – The grouping I’ve listed is titled “specialization” because it includes both industries and functions. There’s no real consistent methodology on whether a job is grouped within its industry or its function; at the end of the day, it’s the student who decides how to categorize it. Therefore, there can be some discrepancies within the group totals.
- Other Grouping – The original data also included a group called “other” which I’ve excluded because the data was so varied. This included people who started their own companies, receiving no salary, and a small handful of people with exceptionally high salaries.
- Bonus Information – The salary information I pulled looked only at base salary and not bonus. I tried to incorporate the bonus data, but it looked off. In 2012, REIS was only recently getting off the ground and I believe they may have had some input errors during that year. Without bonus data, investment bankers, who are grouped under finance, show a significantly lower compensation level than what they actually receive in total.
- Accepted versus Received Offers – The current data set only tracks accepted offers, not all offers received. While this has the possibility of skewing the data, it probably wouldn’t have a huge effect. It’s likely that accepted offers correlate with received offers within any particular industry.
- Supply versus Demand – For any specialization to have a high number of offers is driven by both student interest as well as recruiter interest. Therefore, if recruiters only supply a few jobs within a category, the number of students ending up in that role will likely be very low as well.
I’ll run this analysis again for the Class of 2013 and hopefully the data will improve in that iteration. One key thing missing from this data is how hard it was to get a particular job. Essentially, the job offers as a percentage of the overall interest level. While this will be impossible to calculate definitively, I may be able to find a good proxy.