Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
With 97 percent of its members receiving employment offers by June, the Sloan School master's degree Class of '96 continues a highly successful job placement trend. Meanwhile, the incoming Class of '98 was selected from a continually growing and diverse pool of applicants.
For the Class of '96, median base salaries for the class increased by 4 percent from 1995 to $78,000. Also, Sloan's Career Development Office (CDO) brought 52 new companies to campus this past year.
According to a recent report from the CDO, the downward trend in students' accepting employment offers in the manufacturing sector continued for the third year. However, "these numbers obscure the fact that there is lively interest in emerging information-based industries, since many of them involve some manufacturing but are classified as business services," said CDO Director Ilse Evans.
The number of students who chose consulting dropped three percentage points from last year's high of 46 percent, while finance jumped 10 points, to 26 percent.
Some placement statistics for the Class of 1996 follow.
Average number of interviews: 12. Average number of offers: 3.4. Median total compensation: $102,500. Median starting base salary: $78,000.
Top industries: consulting, 43 percent (median starting base salary was $85,000); manufacturing, 31 percent (median starting base salary was $71,200); investment banking, 17 percent.
Top job functions: consulting, 43 percent; operations/project management, 17 percent; finance, 26 percent.
Members of the incoming Class of '98 come from a broad spectrum of industries, from law enforcement (a traffic court judge and a British bobby), options trading, education (a Tuskegee University senior administrator) and medicine, as well as a number of entrepreneurs. There are people from nonprofits, a child of migrant workers, two Rhodes scholars, a Vietnamese refugee, athletes, teachers, and people who have already bought and turned around companies.
International students make up a record 38 percent, and 30 percent are women-up from 28 percent last year. Twenty-four percent are minorities.
The Admissions Office reports that applications have been sharply rising for a while. "The big bang started two years ago, and the applicant pool keeps on growing," said Meg Manderson, associate director of admissions. "What is exciting for the School is that this enables us to admit a top-notch-and an exceptionally diverse-class. The range of their experiences is remarkable."
Of 3,012 applicants, Sloan admitted 422, of whom 361 matriculated. Sixteen class members have a previous degree from MIT (there are also 12 from Cornell; nine each from Brown, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania; and eight from Harvard). Twenty-six percent hold advanced degrees. On average, matriculating students are 27.4 years old and have 4.4 years of work experience.
(This article originally appeared in the fall 1996 issue of R.O.I. published by the Sloan School of Management).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 20, 1996.