June 05, 2007

INSEAD Career Report 2006 / Stanford and Wharton comparison

INSEAD released its 2006 career report. For those considering INSEAD as a potential school, or an alternative to top US schools due to visa, immigration issues, this is an interesting document to study. This was a report I was looking forward to as well (as a future student). For my reader's benefit, I've put in comparisons (where possible) to Stanford GSB and Wharton. I have also included a link for the London Business School (LBS) 2006 report.

What I like about this report (and the preceding one for 2005) is the level of detail it provides. You can see the distributions by segment, geography, minimum, maximum salaries, geographical spread - information that really helps make a fair assessment (unlike how media hypes up selected salaries of some ..ahem.. Indian schools..) of what you are in for when you graduate.

Any school should provide career statistics this way. A fair, detailed comprehensive view of job reports. I'm sure many other big schools do too (I haven't seen many this detailed though). Some interesting stats for those who are too lazy to read the report. The numbers in maroon-bracket-italics are for Stanford GSB and those in Blue are for Wharton.

  1. 92% finding jobs within 3 months, and Graduates working in 50 countries in over 300 companies - talk of diversity. 408 companies recruited.(97% within 3 months, 13% outside the US - but it does not make much sense to check international % of US schools anyway) (94%)
  2. Almost an even split between Finance (29% ), Consulting (35%) and Industry (36%). Those interested in Consulting will see that INSEAD continues to be very strong (Finance 36%, Consulting 24%, others 40%) (Finance 22%, Consulting 32%, others 45%)
  3. 40% of the class changed sector, geography and function all at once. UK continues to be the strongest attraction for non-Europeans. Nearly 80% changed function (65%)
  4. Overall average salary was ~107,000$ and sign-on bonus of 20,000$ (110,000$, 20,000$. BTW Harvard is also 110,000$ for 2006.) (100,000$, 20,000$ though of all three Wharton has the highest salaries on the upper end). Note that I've excluded medians that include other discretionary salaries.
  5. Of interest to Indians - even though there is a buoyant economy back home, only 15 of the over 100 Indians actually returned home. The range of salaries of the 15 is from 7L to 75L with a median of nearly 30L. Among Indian companies I saw only Thoughtworks India, Infosys and Infosys Consulting..not sure of which other company recruited.
  6. Of interest to those who want Consulting as a career - McKinsey selected 48, Bain 30, BCG 27, Booz Allen 14 (all excluding those who were sponsored by these companies).(no information available) (53, 32, 28, 15 - but Wharton has not reported how many of these numbers are actually sponsored by their companies) The new market favorite Google recruited 3 from INSEAD and 5 from Wharton. Man, they're tough.
  7. The report provides a lot of detail on Geographic spread, how different nationalities switched their country of work, salaries by function, medians and ranges - all interesting details.

So what does this tell us? INSEAD career placement is roughly the same as other top schools - with one exception - the diversity of job locations is much higher. And INSEAD is very strong in Consulting. LBS numbers are close to INSEAD, and does lend credence to the notion that INSEAD is stronger in consulting whereas LBS in Finance. But you have to keep in mind that while this notion may come about when looking at %, when you look at absolute numbers they're probably similar (I did not get into that detail).

The fact is that with an annual graduation number of nearly 900, and salary reported is spread across 50 countries with widely ranging compensation disparaties, maintaining such averages is pretty hard. In comparison, Stanford and LBS, for e.g. had about 1/3 the number per year. Wharton is more comparable with nearly 800. Harvard would be as well.

For your additional research

  1. INSEAD 2006 Career Report
  2. Stanford 2006 Career Report
  3. Wharton 2006 Career Report
  4. Harvard 2006 Career Report
  5. London Business School LBS 2006 Career Report

Hope that helps!

If I got any of the numbers wrong, please let me know and I will be happy to correct it.


TheVenetianJob said...

that's interesting, thanks dude

Dee said...

Very detailed I must say, left the day job already?

Anonymous said...

Good breakdown. What your analysis doesn't capture is that Stanford sends more than a quarter (27%) of its grads into PE, VC, IM, or HF. In fact, most Stanford grads who go into finance get into these MBA-dream fields. Insead sends most finance folks into "lowly" IB. I think our career report looks pretty good overall and excellent for Consulting, but I'd say we're still a notch below because we're not yet able to send people directly into these fields in great numbers. I think you would find the same thing with HBS (if they published their numbers). However, I do think we're more or less on par with Wharton. My 2 cents.

necromonger said...


You're right about the 'dream finance jobs' . My intention was not to get into the detail of the numbers to that level but only present numbers as they are to give readers an idea. The other reason I guess INSEAD doesn't send as many to these 'dream' fields is because (a) lack of Internship in Sept intake but more of (b) where many top VC/PE etc companies still stick pretty much to H/S - can't ignore the premium branding these 2 institutes enjoy.

But once you move out of that niche, I think all top schools will probably present very similar pictures.

Dee - work is tapering down, but this was something I wanted to write on for a while because I've been seeing too many posts confusing INSEAD strength vis-a-vis US schools.

The Caspian said...

Nice analysis. CAn I have you in my study group at Fonty? :)

The Caspian said...

Or wait- just remembered you are going to Spore...

Anonymous said...

An Indian alumni found a job in a finance boutique. He is the one who was offered 75 lakhs.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis given the data available, but not conclusive. The question you are really trying to answer is (I think): given a post MBA job of your choice, is it easier,equivalent or harder to get said job as an Insead grad vs. a US school grad?

Let's use consulting as an example, since you used it on your post. Let's assume that student X wants to do consulting at a big 3 in NYC. If so, Insead probably puts him or her at a disadvantage. Now let's move to the other side of the Atlantic and let's say that student Y wants a big 3 consulting job in London. I don't think that student Y would be at a disadvange if (s)he were from, for eg., Wharton or Kellogg. (S)he would be recruited on campus and would have access to the same events and interviews, right? If we were considering positions at other places then language barriers may come into play, but European language skills don't seem to be at the core of your analysis.

What I'm trying to say is: if the consulting numbers (which on aggregate look great) are all filled with people who have self-selected into working in Europe, and those positions don't get many applicants from US schools, how can you conclude that opportunities are equal or better at Insead?

necromonger said...


I'll assume you are commenting on this post. Great observation - one of the reasons INSEAD has a disadvantage is really US immigration - companies do not want to recruit from INSEAD to US offices unless you are a citizen/PR (who are about 10%). This results in less alumni and therefore lower access - if access were uniform to US for INSEADers, I'd say it would even out.