University of Tennessee

Haslam MBA graduates’ starting salaries show record growth in 2019

January 6, 2020

Graduates of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business MBA program saw their average starting salary leap by 27 percent between 2018 and 2019. The 2019 MBA graduate starting average pay was $99,108, up from $77,995 in 2018, representing a record $21,113 increase. Master’s of Business Analytics (MSBA) graduates took home an average of $83,034 this year, an increase of nearly seven percent.

“The demand for our graduates in 2019 was phenomenal, and the salary offers were commensurate with the demand,” says Pedro Gonzalez, Haslam’s director of career management for graduate education. “Our programs attract students of high caliber, and our faculty do an outstanding job preparing them to enter the business world. It’s no surprise that our MBA and MSBA graduates are actively recruited by leading organizations for key positions.”

The salaries cited include base pay only. MBA graduates were awarded an average signing bonus of $13,163, while MSBA grads received an average of $7,000. Additionally, employment rates upon graduation were strong. Eighty-five percent of MBA graduates found employment within 90 days of graduation, while 97 percent of MSBA graduates were employed within six months of graduation.

The top employers of Haslam graduates in 2019 include several high-profile organizations, such as 3M, Dell, Eastman Chemical Company, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and Pilot Flying J. The businesses the new hires entered are spread across the United States. Breakdowns of Haslam top employers and regional destinations are presented below.

2019 Partial List of Haslam MBA Graduate Employers

  • 3M
  • Apple
  • Dell
  • Deloitte
  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • EY
  • Ford
  • PepsiCo
  • PolyOne 
  • SC Johnson

2019 Partial List of Haslam MSBA Graduate Employers 

  • 84.51°
  • Boeing
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Cognizant
  • Delta Airlines 
  • JPMorgan Chase 
  • Microsoft
  • Pilot Flying J
  • Snag

Destinations by Region for Haslam MBAs & MSBAs

  • Southeast 58% 
  • Midwest 21% 
  • West Coast & Pacific Northwest 11%
  • Northeast 6%
  • Southwest 4%

Employers are appreciative of Haslam graduates’ academic and business underpinnings. Michael Welty, leader of data science at Eastman Chemical Company, says the college is preparing students who can contribute to its goals.

“Data and analytics have proven foundational for Eastman’s growth strategy,” Welty says. “It is essential that we attract and retain top talent in the field of data science. The master’s in business analytics program at UT has been a key partner in enabling our mission.”

After a banner 2019, how will Haslam’s graduate programs fare in 2020? Gonzalez says fall recruiting went well with many potential employers attending job fairs and other recruiting events. 

“We provide every opportunity to our students to pursue their career possibilities to the fullest,” he says. 


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist (865-974-3589,