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CSOM Posts High Starting Salaries For Recent Graduates

NerdWallet Ranks BC Sixth Among Undergrad Schools

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

According to a recently released report, the Carroll School of Management (CSOM) ranks sixth among undergraduate business schools with the highest reported starting salaries among graduates.

The list, compiled by the education division of, a site that provides free resources to students and schools on finances and money management, reflected information from publicly available post-graduation reports and senior surveys from over 100 institutions nationwide. Included in the list are institutions for which more than one year of data was available, so averages could be determined over at least two data points, according to John Gower, strategy analyst at NerdWallet.

CSOM, with an average starting salary of $55,500 between 2009 and 2011, ranked behind the business schools at the University of Pennsylvania ($63,273), Carnegie Mellon University ($60,970), Georgetown University ($58,971), Washington University in St. Louis ($58,417), and the University of Notre Dame ($55,753). Also placing in the top 10 were the University of Michigan, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, and the Florida Institute of Technology.

Richard Keeley, CSOM Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, while not surprised by Boston College’s high place on the list, noted that the NerdWallet list does not include several schools that would surpass CSOM solely due to their small size and the difficulty of acquiring their data.

“Other schools that you would expect to see, whose numbers would likely exceed us, would be places like MIT,” Keeley said. “It would be good to look at this kind of data in the context of more comprehensive places.”

To that effect, Keeley pointed to BusinessWeek as a more reliable source of data on this topic.

“The BusinessWeek rankings, which come out in May of each year, will show you for 100 to 120 schools what the average salaries are, and there you’ll find that we don’t come out sixth. We’re probably down around 10 or 12, so you have to be wary of the data in that regard.”

In BusinessWeek’s ranking of top undergraduate business schools for 2012, which includes graduates’ starting salaries in its criteria, CSOM ranked ninth, behind schools such as MIT, Cornell, Emory, and the University of Virginia that did not appear on NerdWallet’s list.

The high salaries that many CSOM graduates are reported to be earning are not only a result of their strong BC education, Keeley said, but also the nature of the market in which they are obtaining jobs.

“I think the school is a very strong school and that we prepare our students very well, but it’s not as if we’re being recognized for being extraordinary compared to other schools. [The salaries are] a function of the market,” he said.

Keeley noted that many CSOM students pursue careers in the lucrative fields of accounting and finance, and that the industry structure often leads to standardized starting salaries. If a graduate is going to work in Boston for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms (PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte, or Ernst & Young), for example, each company would likely sign him to the same $55,000 starting salary with a $3,000 bonus. As one ventures into the field of investment banking and into bigger markets such as New York, the salaries and bonuses only go up.

Keeley also expressed that CSOM students are “heavy users of Career Center services beginning very early on,” something that likely contributes, along with their work in the classroom, to successful forays into the business world.

According to BC’s post-graduation plans survey of the Class of 2011, the most recent data available, the median starting salary for CSOM grads was $56,000, as compared to the College of Arts & Sciences ($45,000), the Connell School of Nursing ($50,500), and the Lynch School of Education ($36,500). Eight of the top 10 most lucrative jobs for BC grads in 2011 came in business fields, with investment banking topping the list, followed by consulting, accounting, auditing, financial/treasury analysis, and portfolio management.

Furthermore, 30 percent of 2011 CSOM grads reportedly received job offers before their senior year even began, with another 40 percent receiving offers during the first semester of senior year. Over half of the A&S Class of 2011 did not obtain jobs until second semester of their senior year.

Even with these helpful resources, though, many graduates, not just from CSOM or BC, are currently facing the daunting task of securing a job in the unsettled economic climate.

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