MBAs in Washington, DC: 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 motion picture and video production, a location like Los Angeles 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. Fourth up in our analysis: Washington, D.C. 

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

According to the sources Bungalow, Numbeo, and Apartment List, the average cost of living in Washington, DC is approximately $3350/month, with the average rent of a one-bedroom being $2200/month. In terms of the average post-MBA salary in this city, the data indicates it is around $112,907 while the average post-MBA compensation is $144,966

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 38.7% of MBAs belonging to this industry, followed by Government, Military, & Politics and Technology, Internet, & Ecommerce with 9.8% and 7.3%, respectively. Diversified Financial Services and Investment Management trail at fourth and fifth place with 6.7% and 4.5%, and Real Estate and Telecommunications share sixth place with 3.2%. This leaves Hospitals, Medicine, & Healthcare Services (2.6%) and Restaurants, Hotels, Tourism, & Hospitality (2.2%) finishing off the list. Our other category, which constituted almost one quarter of our data, included industries such as Commercial Banking, Insurance, and Energy.

Now that it has been established what the popular industries for business students in Washington are, let’s take a look at the functions they are hired for. Consulting comes in first again with 38.3% followed by Corporate Strategy with 7.0% and Investment Management with 5.4%. General Management and Corporate Finance take fourth and fifth place with 5.1% and 4.5%. Marketing comes in sixth with 4.2% while Analytics & Data Science, Operations, and Project Management round out the list with 3.8% each. The Other category encapsulates 24%.

You may be wondering which employers are hiring for these MBA functions. According to the data, the top 5 employers are Deloitte Consulting (6.7%), Booz Allen Hamilton (3.8%), McKinsey & Company (3.8%), the Boston Consulting Group (3.2%), and Capital One (2.9%).

However, when specifically looking at the top employers for the Consulting Industry, Deloitte Consulting has 17.4%, McKinsey & Company has 9.9% of all the MBAs in our dataset from this industry living in Washington. Trailing behind them is Booz Allen Hamilton and the Boston Consulting Group with 8.3%. In contrast, Government, Military, & Politics—the next most common industry— has its top employers as the US Navy with 19.2%, the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Treasury with 7.7% each,and CGI Group with 3.8%. Likewise, Technology, Internet, & Ecommerce has a different set of top employers with IBM having 17.4% and Amazon, MicroStrategy, Optoro, and Uber tying for second place with 8.7% each.

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 13.1% of the data. Georgetown University McDonough School of Business—a District of Columbia business school—makes up 11.5%. This is followed by University of Virginia Darden School of Business with 8.0%, Harvard Business School with 6.1%, and the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania) with 6.1%.

MBAs of Washington, DC– 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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