This week, Poets & Quants shared an early look at forthcoming pay and employment stats for the Class of 2019.

Darden’s Class of 2019 reported a new high for starting salaries and signing bonuses, up 6.6 percent to $162,000.

Post-graduation employment numbers also reached record numbers — an impressive 97 percent of 2019 graduates received job offers within three months of graduation.

Assistant Dean of the Career Development Center Jeff McNish shared key trends and takeaways that have contributed to Darden grads’ stellar jobs performance in recent years.

In his nine years in career development, McNish says 2019 was the best year he has ever experienced for MBA graduates. “This is by far the best year for the diversity of companies, the starting pay, and the percentage of international students getting jobs. Students were getting offers left and right.

Firms are clamoring to get the attention of MBAs, creating a competitive market for current students.

McNish confirms that consulting and financial services have largely driven this year’s increase. “These firms started to see that the competition for talent was going to be fierce and they decided to make a move. Once one went, they all went.”

International students also reported positive outcomes, due in part to a new STEM-designated MBA track. The Class of 2019 was the first to participate in the Specialization in Management Science, and nearly 80 percent of Darden’s international students took advantage of the concentration, which bolsters chances of students receiving an H-1B work visa.

View the full story and see where the Class of 2019 went to work.