Harvard vs. Stanford MBA: Salary, Entrepreneurship & Cost

Finance and Consulting were the two favorite industries before the 2008 crisis. Following the meltdown, recruiters from Technology began poaching MBA candidates from Finance background. The emergence of FinTech helped companies find talents in the intersection of the two industries. As applicants, it comes down to who offers the best base salary and guaranteed compensation. The total guaranteed compensation determines your ROI while the incoming class and the brand reputation among recruiters influence the number of offers.

Post-MBA Salary

Industry (Harvard MBA)

Harvard MBA program is known for the high median base salary. The latest class received $135,000 with 66% of them earning a median signing bonus of $25,000.

Consulting, Consumer Products, Investment Banking, and Consumer Electronics were particularly generous in offering signing bonus with the majority of candidates receiving guaranteed compensation in the range of $25,000 to $50,000.

Venture Capital/Leverage Buy Out/Private Equity
- the most popular sub-industry in Finance only offered 37% of its candidates a signing bonus. However, the Base Salary of $152,000 beats the Consulting median Base Salary, encouraging 41% of applicants to choose Financial Services either in Investment Banking/Sales & Trading, Investment Management/Hedge Fund or Venture Capital/Private Equity/LBO.

Function (Harvard MBA): On Function, Consulting earned the candidates a $150,000 median base salary with the majority (95%) receiving a $20,000 median signing bonus. Investment Banking, Leadership Development and General Marketing were the other three popular functions with median base salary and signing bonus that crossed the $150,000 mark while Consulting and Investment Banking leads with a total of $175,000.

Post-MBA Location (Harvard MBA)

New York City is the favorite destination for Harvard MBA candidates (24%), followed by California Bay Area (15%) and Boston (14%). Interestingly, given the highly volatile environment for foreign students in Europe and US, top US schools have found a better placement in the United States for International candidates with only 13% choosing their native country or European cities. From 2013-2017, the trend is upward (83 to 87% of the class finding opportunity in the US).

Industry (Stanford MBA)

For Stanford MBA, Technology (33%) overtook Finance(31%) as the most popular industry. Consulting was the third popular industry but with the second highest total compensation ($170,000). What is interesting in Stanford MBA Employment report is the guaranteed compensation column for each industry. When you consider the median base salary and the median signing bonus - Private Equity led the charts with $202,500, while Consulting ($170,000) and Technology ($145,000) completed the three popular industries.

Clearly, candidates pursuing Technology were not primarily motivated by the total guaranteed compensation as the additional compensation was just $25,000 compared to other industries that received payments from $25,000 to an unbelievable $1,50,000 (PE). 

Stanford vs. Harvard MBA Salary (Industry)


Download Comprehensive MBA Research Guide for Stanford vs. Harvard MBA Analysis on:

1) Post-MBA Salary (By Industry)
2) Post-MBA Salary (By Function)
3) Post-MBA Location
4) Entrepreneurship
5) Ranking
6) Class Profile
7) Cost – Tuition + Full-time + Living Expense (Single, Married and Married with Kids)


Harvard’s Arthur Rock Centre for Entrepreneurship realized through the $25 million donations from Arthur Rock in 2003 is an initiative that is two generations late compared to Stanford’s pioneering foray into Technology Investment, starting with Fred Terman’s zeal that was pivotal in the establishment of the Stanford Research Park.

Even Rock accepts that without moving to California in 1961, his investment into Intel and Apple would not have been a reality. His motivation for Arthur Rock Centre for Entrepreneurship was to replicate the risk-taking culture that was prevalent in West Coast, especially at Stanford’s School of Engineering where Terman was the head. Unlike MIT, or Harvard in the early 60s, Stanford learned to incentivize doctoral and post-doctoral students by encouraging them to start their companies while simultaneously offering lectures at the University.

An Entrepreneurial culture cannot be built overnight. The legacy of Silicon Valley encourages Stanford MBA candidates to pursue Entrepreneurship at double the rate than Harvard MBA students. Google, HP and Cisco System are among the 39,900 companies that originated from Stanford. Together, they would have been equivalent to the world's #10th largest economy.

The Center for Entrepreneurial studies is the pillar for the Entrepreneurial activities at GSB, leading the research and education, and in providing a platform for Investors, Entrepreneurs and students to meet.


Full Analysis: Harvard vs. Stanford MBA Curriculum for Entrepreneurship (With Comprehensive MBA Research Guide)

Harvard MBA vs Stanford MBA Curriculum Analysis

Author : 

Full-time MBAHarvardStanford
Total Median Salary$160000$161000
Tuition (Per Year)$72000$66540
Entrepreneurship (Percentage Class)
Total Cost$232,280$218,436

Getting into Harvard MBA is Not Like Catching a Shooting Star

Most applicants have this strange notion that you cannot get into Harvard MBA program without climbing Mount Everest, or leading a start-up to an IPO. 

Trust us, we evaluated a few Harvard MBA Admits. They are like you, but with one difference.

They are Masters at Personal Branding.

We will teach you:

1) How you should start the essay knowing that extroversion and passion are valued in Harvard MBA?

2) How you should demonstrate Active Learning?

3) How you should demonstrate confidence in decision-making?

4) How you should demonstrate your succinct communication skills?

5) How you should demonstrate your potential as an effective FIELD team member?

Also Included in the Essay Guide:

1) Six positioning tips that you should consider for your essay.

2) Two Sample Essays

Download F1GMAT's Harvard MBA Essay Guide 2016-17

2020 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA

"I attended three MBA Tours in US and Canada. I could just scratch the surface compared to what the guide has included. Thank you guys for the amazing book"

F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach. 

Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?

We cover them all through our extensive analysis. 

Pages: 506

+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method 
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour

Comprehensive MBA Research Guide:
Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Finance
+ Consulting
+ Marketing
+ Strategy
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Accounting
+ Energy
+ Non-Profit
+ Wine
+ Sports
+ Sustainability
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ International

+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee  
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary

Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)    
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs    
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee   
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index    
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index    
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power    
Top MBA Destination: By Economy    

+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA
MIT vs. Stanford MBA  
Haas vs. Ross MBA    

Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    

IIMA vs. ISB   

Harvard vs. Stanford MBA

+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 

+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

+ Germany: Industry Trends, Post MBA Jobs and Salaries (2020) (NEW!)
  • Manufacturing  
  • IoT and IIOT   
  • Technology   
  • FinTech   
  • Management Consulting   
  • Post-MBA industries (German Top Schools)   

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2020)

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter