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Career Statistics for MBA Veterans

Each year, hundreds of veterans look to pursue an MBA to take their leadership, management, and operations experiences to the business world. Top companies have started to take notice, and many are interested in hiring veterans for their many transferable skills in the private sector.


We dove into our data to find out the top 5 functions and industries for veterans, and explored the career opportunities and resources available to them.


Top Job Functions:



Hours/Week: 58.2

Median Total Comp: $191,000

Overall Satisfaction: 6.5

% of Vets: 18%

Top Companies: McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group


Unsurprisingly, consulting is the most popular industry and function for veterans, just as it is for the MBA student body as a whole. Veterans are on average more likely to work in consulting, with 18% of vets working in consulting, compared to 16% of MBAs receiving consulting offers. Many companies offer special programs for  transitioning veterans, such as McKinsey.



Hours/Week: 50.9

Median Total Comp: $160,000

Overall Satisfaction: 7

% of Vets: 13%

Top Companies: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft


Operations spans a wide variety of industries, since the term covers tasks such as production management, logistics, and supply chain. In other words, to work in operations, you need to be concentrated, on time, and organized. Sound familiar? Military experience instills these qualities in MBAs, and companies like Amazon are loving what veteran MBAs bring to the team.


Corporate Strategy

Hours/Week: 51.7

Median Total Comp: $160,000

Overall Satisfaction: 7.2

% of Vets: 9%

Top Companies: Cisco Systems, Adobe, Samsung


Corporate strategy incorporates all of the skills you’d use in consulting: critical thinking, analysis, and communication, but using those skills internally within a company. Corporate strategy is great for those that want to creatively solve problems as you would in consulting, but without the extensive travel. MBAs in corporate strategy roles report traveling 11% of the time for work, as opposed to 49% for consultants.


General Management

Hours/Week: 52

Median Total Comp: $162,000

Overall Satisfaction: 7.2

% of Vets: 8%

Top Companies: Citigroup, Danaher, Intel


General management calls for organization and leadership to supervise teams on a project, product, or a department. Similar to operations, your ultimate goal is making sure everything runs smoothly. A popular trend among top companies are the development of rotational programs, which gives an intern or new hire a chance to work across a wide variety of departments within the company. These programs are meant to give talent an opportunity to experience all aspects of the company in order to groom them for a management role within the company. You can read more about some of the top rotational programs here.


Corporate Finance

Hours/Week: 50.2

Median Total Comp: $150,000

Overall Satisfaction: 5.8

% of Vets: 7%

Top Companies: Google, Pepisco, IBM


Working in corporate finance, your job is to make sure that the money flowing in and out of your company is going where it’s supposed to be, and manage the allocation of funds to departments and new projects. Overseeing money means that you need to be organized (we’re seeing a pattern here) and enjoy diving deeply into spreadsheets.




Top Industries:



Hours/Week: 49.3

Median Total Comp: $186,000

Overall Satisfaction: 7

% of Vets: 13%

Top Companies: Amazon, Microsoft, Google


Tech companies have been increasingly interested in vets in recent years. Not only do veterans have a great skill set to bring into top tech firms, this skill set is also prompting vets to become entrepreneurs and start their own companies. According to a US Small Business Administration study, veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed when compared to those with no active military experience. There are plenty of resources for veterans interested in tech, like VetsinTech, that provide classes, networking events, and more to get started.


Pharma & Biotech

Hours/Week: 48.2

Median Total Comp: $155,000

Overall Satisfaction: 7

% of Vets: 7%

Top Companies: Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb


The medical field is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, and will need to fill positions in logistics, operations, and more to keep up with its growth. If you’re interested in working in the industry, consider taking a look MedTech and Biotech Veterans Program (MVP) to get connected with mentors, events, and more.  


Financial Services

Hours/Week: 51.5

Median Total Comp: $144,000

Overall Satisfaction: 6.7

% of Vets: 6%

Top Companies: Capital One, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan


Financial services consists of (you guessed it) services around a client’s finances (did you get that one too? Amazing). This spans a variety of fields though -such as credit cards, asset management, insurance, banking, and loans. Vets can check out Morgan Stanley’s tips on transitioning to the private sector here.


Investment Banking

Hours/Week: 76.5

Median Total Comp: $220,000

Overall Satisfaction: 6.4

% of Vets: 5%

Top Companies: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Credit Suisse


Living the high life on Wall Street is an aspiration for many MBAs, so it’s no surprise that veterans also have an interest in investment banking. Wall Street isn’t shy about hiring veterans either, in fact many top firms have veterans in senior leadership positions. Just like with consulting, many top companies have programs to help transitioning veterans within their companies, like Goldman Sachs.


Note: Consulting is also listed as a top industry, but as it was already covered as a top function above, it was omitted.


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