Short answer: Much less than what your peers graduating with MBAs into consulting and finance are making.
Scary answer: Maybe not any more than you’re making today???
Here’s some information captured in a tiny-ass footnote towards the end of the Chicago Booth Class of 2016 Employment Report :
Accepted offers in these functions include graduates working at start-ups: Analytics/Data Science (1), Business Development (4), Finance, Other (1), General Management (3), Sales (1), and Operations: Production/Supply Chain Management/Logistics (3). In total, 2.6% of accepted offers for the class of 2016 were with start-ups. For base salary, the minimum was $85,000, the maximum was $144,383, and the median was $119,000.
That comes at the end of the table that reports a whopping $215k salary for a 2016 grad who went into investment management. We don’t think that the Booth Career Services peeps were trying to bury that info; in fact, they’re probably quite proud of the fact that so many of their grads went to startups, given how, you know, startups are a thing these days. It’s definitely how Booth is trying to position itself. (That and McKinsey. They also sent 26 grads to McKinsey last year. Yeah, that.)
This footnote is really just trying to help you understand why salaries were so low in some of those categories. It’s not making excuses; it’s actually a bragworthy bit o’ detail.
It’s also notable to catch the footnote on the following page, which lists the internships that the Class of 2017 landed:
Accepted offers in these functions include students doing summer internships at start-ups: Business Development (12), Consulting (4), Corporate Strategy/Strategic Planning (1), Company Finance (Analysis/Treasury) (1), Venture Capital (3), Finance, Other (1), General Management (1), Brand/Product Management (3), Marketing, Other (1), Operations: Production/Supply Chain Management/Logistics (1), and Product Management (Tech) (3). In total, 5.4% of accepted offers for the class of 2017 were with start-ups. For monthly base salary, the minimum was $1,000, the maximum was $8,333, and the median was $4,000.
The trend appears to be, “Do a startup during the summer, but then get a real job when I graduate.” We’ll have to see what happens to those 31 kids next year. It’s certainly a low-risk way to find out if the startup life is for you.
If you’re planning on joining a startup post-MBA, we do hope that you’ve been doing your research.
Take a look at the numbers.
What salary can you actually expect?
(Note: Facebook is not a startup.)
Be sure you’re doing your research, o nobly born. Know what you’re walking your brave heart into.
The median is still nothing to sneeze at for that startup cohort – but it may not be what your starry-eyed self had in mind.
Update June 2017: Here’s some research that says graduating MBAs take $15,000 less in first salary than those taking more traditional post-MBA jobs.