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Technology (Software)

The software industry extremely attractive for MBA graduates, who are anxious to test their newly-minted skills in a dynamic arena. An analysis of the 250,000+ data points at TransparentCareer  revealed insights that can help you decide if the software industry might be a good fit.Software is all around us, and innovation is moving at breakneck speeds. Anaplan CEO Frederic Laluyaux described the software industry as “grow fast or die fast” because of constant innovation and competition. Software spending is also expected to grow faster than other tech areas as interest and adoption of cloud computing, SaaS businesses, and analytics increases.

The average salary of an MBA graduate entering the software industry is $122,022 (71st percentile). On top of the base salary, an average bonus is $18,109 (57th percentile) and a signing bonus can be upwards of $22,932 (85th percentile). To see compensation data for this industry and how it stacks up against other top industries, just sign up for free here and explore intuitive dashboards, representing data from over 3,500 employers.


While the average salary for MBA graduates in the software sector aren’t as high as some other industries, employees reap the benefits of greater work-life balance. The average work hours for an MBA graduate in the software industry clock in at 48 hours, which is 12% less than the average for all MBA graduates. The amount of time spent traveling is also half the average for all other industries. While the average MBA graduate spends 26% of their time traveling, an individual in the software industry travels just 12% of the time. Companies such as Uber and Siemens even boast travel times below 10%.

Competitive salaries and favorable work-life balances may contribute to increased satisfaction in MBA graduate jobs in software. While the average happiness score for all MBA graduates is 6.7, those in the software industry reported scores of 7.2. Above average scores were also reported in impact of work, whether they would recommend the position, and company culture.  Satisfaction scores were consistently high across all companies, and some even garnered perfect 10/10. These high satisfaction scores are not just tied to specific companies, either. For example, MBA graduates in non-technical positions at Facebook rated their happiness at just 5/10. However product-related employees at Facebook rated their happiness at a 9.

High workplace satisfaction isn’t reserved for the full-time staffers; MBA interns in software companies also reported above average happiness, willingness to recommend, and views on company culture. Interns also worked below average hours per week, and the percent of time traveling was 9%. In addition to first-rate work-life balance, MBA interns in the software industry also received competitive compensation. While slightly below average, the total compensation for an intern in this industry sums to an annualized $96,129. If you’re interested in a software internship, it’s useful to note that offers for positions peak rather late in the MBA recruiting cycle, around March.

The speed of innovation and ideas in the software industry means an increasing amount of opportunities and companies to work with. Our database of 5,000+ employers is a great source to find employers in the software industries. Popular companies for MBA graduate jobs in the software industry include many household names, such as those listed below.

Total Compensation Average Salary Average Hours/Week Average Happiness
Microsoft $254,848 $117,130 44 8
Amazon.com, Inc. $240,716 $126,971 60 7
Google Inc. $218,956 $120,516 46 9

Just as there are many companies recruiting MBAs, there’s also a wide variety of functional areas that are utilized in the software industry. The number one function within the software space for MBA graduates is, unsurprisingly, product management. The Wall Street Journal recently called product management the most coveted job title for MBAs. These roles within technology & software companies mix disciplines such as marketing, design, analytics, and strategy. A Kellogg MBA grad who now works as a product manager for Facebook states that product managers must learn to “influence people when they don’t directly report to you”. At Harvard Business School, upwards of 7% of the class of 2015 took positions in product management. Nevertheless, there are still many amazing opportunities outside of product management. MBA graduate jobs in software represent a varied array of functions and positions.


Examples of the most popular positions for MBA graduates include Product Managers at Amazon and Account Executives at Microsoft. To discover the right position for you, visit our Career Explorer.

Despite the fact that men outnumber women by almost 3:1, compensation rates and satisfaction scores aren’t drastically different among each group. Not all industries can say the same, so it’s great to see that technology companies – at least in MBA positions – are bucking the gender pay gap. Male MBA graduates in the software industry work an average of 50 hours per week, women reported working 44 hours. Men also have a travel percentage of almost 2.5 times greater than their female counterparts. Functional breakdowns were roughly the same for each gender.

Competitive salaries, high satisfaction, and a wide variety of necessary functions within software companies make this industry attractive for MBA graduates, but do software companies need MBA students? A software development manager at Cisco says “yes”! Christopher Stone argues that tech companies thrive on project-based teams. These teams, he argues, benefit from the comprehensive leadership skills a software engineer learns while pursuing an MBA. A mix of technical skills and management prowess create an indispensable employee for software firms.

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