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Average Starting MBA Salaries Top All Graduates

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Despite reports that Keynes is dead and that Jimmy Carter cannot turn the economic stove higher than a simmer, those future business executives across the Charles continue to reap the rewards of the increasing corporate demand for elite technocrats. The Harvard Business School's Class of '77 led all comparable Harvard graduates, as well as graduates from other business schools, with a median starting salary of $22,000, 10 per cent higher than last year, according to a recently released Office of Career Development report.

The starting salaries ranged from a low of $2650, for work with a charitable institution, to a high of $53,153.

Prospering in the Big Apple

Of the approximately 70 per cent of last year's Harvard Law School graduates currently employed with private firms, the more than 100 laboring in New York City earn between $18,000 and $26,500, while the remainder of the class, particularly the fifth who work for the government, earn appreciably less, Eleanor Roberts Appel, placement director at the Law School, said.

After four years of medical school, the future physicians from Harvard begin one-year internships paying roughly $10,000 before completing two to four years of residency with only slightly higher wages. Later, of course, they will earn considerably more.

School of Public Health graduates with little previous professional experience earn about $16,000 to start, Dr. Jeannette Simmons, associate professor of Health Education, said yesterday. Other schools surveyed said their medians are not comparable because the past professional experience of their graduates varies so widely.

Professors and administrators at the Business School said yesterday that median starting salaries for Harvard MBAs may rise as competition to get into the school mounts and the cumulative work experience of the business students increases.

Applications to the school have doubled during the past decade and the number of students accepted immediately after graduating from college has dropped from 30 per cent to 18 per cent this fall, Dean Currie '69, assistant dean for educational affairs at the Business School, said yesterday.

One student said the increase in previous work experience would naturally tend to reflect higher starting salaries at graduation. This student, aged 29, said he earned more than $22,000 during the first eight months of this year before coming to Harvard.

As the idealism of the '60s fades into the pre-professionalism of the '70s, a theme reiterated by most of the Business School deans, professors and students contacted yesterday was that young college graduates are increasingly seeing business as a means of "achieving," changing--and earning--without losing their ethics or identities.

In 1967 7000 MBA degrees were awarded nationwide, while last year 35,000 students graduated with a Masters in Business Administration. Currie said.

James Heskett, chairman of the MBA Program, says he "senses less animosity toward business" by students and in society in general.

"The publicity of the last several years has made many business organizations rethink their procedures," Heskett said. "Illegal overseas payments, for example, have helped" to cast a spotlight on ethics in business, he added.

Business School administrators agreed that the salary hike will help renew enthusiasm among those students who became anxious last year after a national survey of business school deans ranked Harvard below the Stanford Business School.

A recent survey in MBA Magazine even rated Harvard as the world's tenth-best business school--tied with the University of Tel Aviv.

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