MBAs in San Francisco: 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 the federal government, a location like Washington, D.C. 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. Tenth up in our analysis: San Francisco, California. 

(This entry is part of a series exploring such measures for various cities. You can find our other entries in the series here: Los Angeles , New York, San Jose, and Seattle.)

According to the sources Bungalow, Numbeo, and Apartment List, the average cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is approximately $4500/month, with the median rent of a one-bedroom being $3200/month. In terms of the average post-MBA salary in this city, the data indicates it is around $136,613 while the average post-MBA compensation is $197,080.

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, Technology, Internet, & Ecommerce leads the pack by a large margin with 53.9% of MBAs belonging to this industry, followed by Consulting and Pharma, Medical Devices, & Biotech with 13.9% and 4.9%, respectively. Hospitals, Medicine, & Healthcare Services, Investment Banking, and Diversified Financial Services trail at fourth, fifth, and sixth place with 2.8%, 2.7%, and 2.4%. This leaves Energy, Gas, Oil, and Utilities (2.1%); Computer Services & Information Technology (2.0%); Consumer Products (2.0%); and Investment Management (2.0%) finishing off the list. Our other category, which constituted almost 11.3% of our data, included industries such as Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Telecommunications.

Now that it has been established what the popular industries for business students in San Francisco are, let’s take a look at the functions they are hired for. Consulting comes in first with 16.7% followed by Marketing and Product Management with 14.5% each. Corporate Strategy and Operations take third and fourth place with 8.9% and 7.5%. Business Development comes in fifth position with 5.9% and Corporate Finance comes in sixth position with 5.7%. General Management follows with 3.9%. Analytics & Data Science rounds out the list with 2.9% while the Other category encapsulates 16.8%.

You may be wondering which employers are hiring for these MBA functions. According to the data, the top 5 employers are Google (8.1%), Apple (3.6%), Adobe (3.2%), Facebook (2.7%), and Genentech (2.4%).

However, when specifically looking at the top employers for the Technology, Internet, & Ecommerce Industry, Google has 14.9%, Apple has 6.2%, and Adobe has 5.7% of all the MBAs in our dataset from this industry living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Trailing behind them is Facebook with 5.0% and Salesforce with 3.7%. In contrast, Consulting—the next most common industry— has its top employers as Deloitte Consulting and McKinsey & Company with 11.5% each, the Boston Consulting Group with 9.6%, Bain & Company with 8.7%, and Strategy& with 6.7%. Likewise, Pharma, Medical Devices, & Biotech have a different set of top employers with Genentech having 45.9%, McKesson having 16.2%, Medtronic and iRhythm Technologies having 5.4%, and Abbott Laboratories with 2.7%.

The last question asked was which business schools have the most alumni working in this city. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business comes in first with the alumni making up 17.7% of the data. University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business makes up 13.5%. This is followed by Stanford Graduate School of Business—another California business school—with 10.9%, Northwestern Kellogg School of Management with 8.4%, and Harvard Business School with 7.1%.

MBAs in San Francisco – 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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