B-School Grads Are Successfully Negotiating Their Starting Salaries

Though a larger percentage of men than women in the Class of 2016 attempted to negotiate, women had a slightly better success rate.

Jun 15, 2017

B-School Outcomes

Prospective business school students

More than half of Class of 2016 business school graduates (55%) attempted to negotiate their starting salary for their post-graduation jobs, according to the results of the 2017 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey. Among those who negotiated, 69 percent report that they were successful in increasing their starting salary. Overall, a similar percentage of Class of 2016 men attempted attempted to negotiate their salaries as women (57% vs. 54%), though women had a slightly better success rate (74% vs. 66%).

Candidates entering upper-level positions were more likely to attempt to negotiate salaries and were more likely to succeed in doing so. For example, just 40 percent of Class of 2016 graduates hired into entry-level positions attempted to negotiate their starting salary. Of those that attempted negotiation, 63 percent were successful. Among Class of 2016 graduates entering senior-level or higher positions, nearly 3 in 4 (73%) attempted to negotiate, and those that did had an 83 percent success rate.

Negotiation rate and success rate

A further analysis of the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey results reveals that successful salary negotiation is correlated with job satisfaction. Those who attempted a salary negotiation and were unsuccessful tend to be less satisfied with their job (55% either very or extremely satisfied) than those that were successful in their negotiation (72% either very or extremely satisfied). Interestingly, those who did not attempt salary negotiation report equal levels of job satisfaction compared with individuals who successfully negotiated (72% either very or extremely satisfied). It’s possible that those not attempting negotiation may have felt the salary offered them was in line with their expectations or was not the most important aspect of the job offer.

For more on the outcomes of the graduate business school Class of 2016, download the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report at gmac.com/alumniperspectives.