Taro Logo

Exploring MBA-driven career shifts from software engineering to product management or management consulting for higher earnings, particularly in Europe.

Profile picture
Senior Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

I have been working as a backend engineer for around 6 to 7 years, splitting my time between India and the UAE. Recently, I've come to the realization that I don't derive much enjoyment from software engineering. Also, I don't plan to stick to current startup for long as I don't see much future ahead. Consequently, I am contemplating pursuing an MBA with the aim of transitioning into either product management at major tech companies like FAANG or management consulting at firms such as McKinsey. I don't have a strong preference for either career path; my primary consideration is which one offers higher compensation in Europe.


  1. After obtaining an MBA from a top business school, which role typically commands a higher salary: product manager or management consultant?

  2. If I were to continue in software engineering and attempt to transition to a position at a FAANG company in Europe, which role would likely yield the highest income: engineer, product manager, or management consultant?

  3. Can I get breakup of salary?

I acknowledge that these questions may seem unconventional, but at this juncture, my main focus is on maximizing my earning potential as I navigate my career path.



  • 1
    Profile picture
    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    If you want to work at FAANG, I strongly recommend against an MBA. Many organizations in Big Tech look down on MBAs as many programs (as is for academia) teach traditional methods that don't carry over to the unique operating model of Big Tech. If you want to learn more about working at FAANG is like, check this out: [Masterclass] Should You Work At FAANG? - What Big Tech Is Like For Software Engineers

    There's another great discussion about MBAs here: "Will getting an MBA improve my prospects of climbing up the corporate ladder faster ?"

    The much faster (and cheaper) route is to transition from software engineer to product management. SWE -> PM is one of the more organic and easier hops to make. Follow the advice here: [Taro Top 10] Product Management For Engineers

    Unfortunately, I have 0 idea how much a management consultant makes and can only infer what they do based on context clues. However, I know that SWEs and PMs make around the same money at Big Tech (it's quite close). Outside of Big Tech, I think PMs actually make more than SWEs on average.

    The reason for this (and the trade-off) is that there are just far fewer PM jobs than SWE jobs. For every product manager, there is at least 7 engineers, and I have seen teams with 15+ engineers only have 1 PM. So sure, if you get the PM job you'll make more, but getting it to begin with is very difficult. It's kind of like how becoming a C engineer will make you more money (as it's more specialized) but finding a job that will pay you money to code in C is very hard - There's just not a lot of them.

  • 1
    Profile picture
    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    which role typically commands a higher salary: product manager or management consultant?

    If you're comparing PM at a FAANG company vs management consultant, the answer is definitely product manager. This would not be applicable in your scenario, but I'll share some actual data:

    • A new grad Product Manager can expect $200K TC in the Bay Area at a top company (Google, Meta).
    • A new grad consultant can expect $100K TC in the Bay Area at a top consulting firm like McKinsey or Bain.

    I am pretty sure this gap exists at higher levels as well.

    which role would likely yield the highest income?

    This question is tricky to answer for a few reasons:

    • So much of the data online are about "average compensation" -- but you're likely not average! You should aim to be in the top 1-10% of the field, which makes it harder to get accurate data.
    • The PM role is relatively new and differs based on company and geography. American tier 1 tech cos put a lot of value on PMs. But in Europe (and perhaps India/UAE), many PMs are glorified project managers, and get paid a lot less.

    If I were you, I'd focus on choosing the path where you have the best chance of getting a great opportunity. e.g. you know someone who is a phenomenal consultant, and they can give you informal mentorship, that's a strong advantage for choosing consulting. If you gain admission to a school that is world-renowned for producing brilliant PMs, become a PM!