Paul L. Caron

Friday, August 19, 2022

Which Stanford Degree Is The Better Investment: B-School Or Law School?

Fortune, Stanford Law School vs. Stanford Graduate School of Business—Here’s a Look at Their Paychecks:

Stanford (2016)Ivy League schools may serve as the stronghold for top-notch education on the East Coast, but across the country Stanford University offers some of the most coveted and respected professional programs in the U.S. Two of its most sought-after programs include its law school and business school, both of which are consistently ranked as being among the best in the country.

While Fortune doesn’t rank law schools, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale University typically claim the top three spots on national rankings, and Stanford Graduate School of Business ranked No. 2 on Fortune’s ranking of MBA programs, second only to Harvard Business School. A major part of Fortune’s full-time MBA ranking methodology (the outcomes score, which is 65% of the overall ranking) considers starting salaries and placement rates.

By three months post-graduation in 2021, 96% of Stanford MBA students seeking employment had landed a job. They earned median base salaries of $160,500, which is 33% more than the national average of $115,000, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey. In addition, GSB graduates land median expected bonuses of $37,750 and signing bonuses of $30,000. That brings their starting pay packages to more than $228,000. Some Stanford GSB graduates, however, are bringing home pay packages exceeding $400,000. ...

By comparison, Stanford Law graduates in 2021 earned anywhere between $54,000 and $215,000 depending on the type of law they chose to pursue. The median starting salary for a 2021 Stanford Law grad was $215,000 for private sector jobs. ...

The current tuition for one year at Stanford GSB is $76,950, but other costs including living expenses and books brings the total amount to more than $124,000. It takes two years to earn an MBA from Stanford, which could cost a student nearly $250,000. 

By comparison, one year of tuition at Stanford Law is $64,350, but “most single students find they need to budget a total of at least $107,055 for the school year,” according to Stanford Law’s website for living expenses and supplies. Law school takes three years to complete, bringing the grand total to more than $320,000 to complete a degree from Stanford Law.

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