Salaries: How Much Do Young Business School Graduates Earn?

Last year, business schools reported an extremely rare (-9%) drop in the net employment rate of their young graduates, as well as a slight drop in their salaries. There is a difficulty associated with the particular context that delayed recruitment. Today, Horizon explained: “The current situation is rather a good omen: 2021 was better than 2020 and the situation should not deteriorate … except for the risks,” tries to reassure Pierre Lamplin, director of data and studies for Apec (Association for the Employment of CEOs).

Many variations

Estimating your pay when leaving business school is complicated, as there are many variances. Schools generally offer an average starting salary, which says nothing about inconsistencies. However, they do exist, starting with a difference of €3,099 per year observed between men and women, according to the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE).

question of choice

Other variables influence the scale: geographical area, sector of activity, occupation, potential rewards … For example, a young graduate working in finance in Ile-de-France will receive more than 40,000 euros, and up to a total of 50,000 euros annually. The same, in a medium-sized city and in the field of communications, it will amount to 32,000 euros per year.


This is the average annual salary (gross excluding bonuses) for the first job of a management graduate.

Great Schools Conference, 2021

Some rare skills, such as analyzing high-value data, are very rewarding. In general, “all profiles with dual skills (engineer-manager, for example) stand out,” adds Marin Triumph, director of labor relations development at Esdes in Lyon.

At the top of the basket are audit and consulting jobs (more than 40,000 euros), while commercial jobs are guaranteed for an average of 35,000 euros but with a larger variable portion (bonuses).

“You have to look at compensation as a long-term component that rewards good and risky career choices,” recalls Pierre Lamplin. Thus a young graduate sometimes has an interest in changing the company to see his salary increase.

“The strongest stages of advancement are those obtained by students who leave for the first position abroad,” notes Maren Triumph. The salary increases at a rate of 5% annually, which can swell by 10-20% after a successful experience outside France.

“Give the best possible advice to our students”

Meet Laurence Laval – Employment and Training Coordinator at ICN BS, Nancy

To get a good salary, you still have to know how to negotiate. This is never easy, even for business profiles: “This means letting your student cap wear the professional cap,” admits Lawrence Laval, who organizes a four-year custom workshop. “Before teaching, I worked in recruitment. I have often noticed how difficult it is for young graduates to objectively evaluate and value their experiences.” Talking about money bothers some people, “when other of us never need to make great claims,” ​​she smiles.

Learn how to negotiate

Hence the importance of the workshop. “An hour and a half is mandatory for all students. Lawrence Laval reassures, but my door remains open all the time. Hence, individual or group meetings spread throughout the year for ICN teams, with a double priority: students

At the end of the course “that will not be able to escape the question of salary” and women. For the latter, a dedicated workshop was created. “We try to understand the reasons for this difference that all schools note, and to provide the best possible advice to our students,” explains Laurence Laval.

The wage gap between men and women is about 3,000 euros a year, for all business schools… “If it’s 10 euros, no training or company can just decry it without doing anything,” she points out.

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