MBAs in Atlanta: City Insight Series

One of the advantages of top-tier MBA degrees is their portability – candidates from top schools often have the opportunity to work in any city they want. For certain industries such as automobile manufacturing, a location like Detroit is synonymous with the industry and is regarded as “the place to be” in terms of career growth. But what if there was a way to analyze what U.S. cities have to offer MBA students?

Utilizing data provided by MBAs across the nation, we are able to analyze metrics such as average compensation, the most common functional roles and industries, and the companies that hire a large number of MBAs in any major city in the United States. Seventh up in our analysis: Atlanta, Georgia. 

(This entry is part of a series exploring such measures for various cities. You can find our other entries in the series here: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and New York.)

According to the sources Bungalow, Numbeo, and Apartment List, the average cost of living in Atlanta is approximately $2750/month, with the median rent of a one-bedroom being $1850/month. In terms of the average post-MBA salary in this city, the data indicates it is around $106,400 while the average post-MBA compensation is $135,064.

City ranks for three separate measures out of a total of 55 evaluated cities 

When looking at the top ten industries of MBAs living in this city, Consulting leads the pack by a large margin with 35.9% of MBAs belonging to this industry, followed by Consumer Products and Technology, Internet, & Ecommerce with 7.2% and 6.0%, respectively. Manufacturing comes in fourth place with 5.2%, Aerospace & Aviation and Telecommunications trails at fifth with 4.4% each. This leaves Automotive, Transportation, & Logistics (3.2%); Diversified Financial Services (3.2%); Retail (3.2%); and Energy, Oil, Gas, & Utilities (2.8%) finishing off the list. Our other category, which constituted almost one quarter of our data, included industries such as Food, Beverage, & Tobacco; Investment Management; and Government, Military, & Politics.

Now that it has been established what the popular industries for business students in Atlanta are, let’s take a look at the functions they are hired for. Consulting comes in first again with 36.7% followed by Marketing with 8.4%, and Corporate Finance and Operations with 6.8% each. Analytics & Data Science and Information Technology take fourth place with 5.2% each. Sales has the fifth position with 4.0%, and Corporate Strategy and Engineering – Other share the sixth position, tying with 3.6%. General Management rounds out the list with 3.2% while the Other category encapsulates 16.7%.

You may be wondering which employers are hiring for these MBA functions. According to the data, the top 5 employers are Ernst & Young (6%), Deloitte Consulting (4.8%), Delta Airlines (4.4%), AT&T (3.6%), and Accenture (3.2%).

However, when specifically looking at the top employers for the Consulting Industry, Ernst & Young has 14.4% and Deloitte Consulting has 13.3% of all the MBAs in our dataset from this industry living in Atlanta. Trailing behind them is Accenture and the Boston Consulting Group with 7.8% each and Bain & Company with 6.7%. In contrast, Consumer Products—the next most common industry— has its top employers as Georgia Pacific with 33.3% and Clorox, DS Services of America, HD Supply, and Ipsos tying for second place with 5.6% each. Likewise, Technology, Internet, & Ecommerce has a different set of top employers with IBM having 13.3% and ADP, Accenture, AirWatch, and Amazon tying for second place with 6.7% each.

The last question asked was which business schools have the most alumni working in this city. The Georgia Institute of Technology comes in first with the alumni making up 23.1% of the data. Emory University Goizueta Business School—another Georgia business school—makes up 16.7%. This is followed by University of Georgia Terry College of Business with 14.3%, Harvard Business School with 4.0%, and Duke University Fuqua School of Business with 3.6%.

MBAs of Atlanta– City Guide:

Are you interested in learning more about MBAs in other US cities? Continue checking out the RelishCareers Blog, where we will continue posting information about popular cities for business students.  Candidates can also sign up for an account through RelishCareers and registrants will be informed of all upcoming blog posts through email. 

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