Nashville, Raleigh, and West Palm Beach rank among the fastest-growing metros in the United States. That’s in the wake of the population explosions in Atlanta, Miami, and Orlando-Tampa over the past 40 years. Forget the “Sleepy South” caricatures; Dixie is dynamic, evolving from an agrarian economy to an all-around powerhouse whose strengths range from tech and banking to healthcare and tourism – with an increasingly pronounced startup vibe to boot. In other words, it is the perfect place for ambitious MBAs to make names for themselves. In the south, that starts with Stanford GSB, whose grads pulled down $143,200 bases in the region. The GSB was trailed (as always) by Harvard Business School ($138,980), Chicago Booth ($134,591), and Wharton ($134,389). Among southern MBA programs, Duke Fuqua and Emory Goizueta and Vanderbilt Owen head the list with $121,098 and $117,118 respectively in base pay. Overall, graduates from six programs enjoyed pay increases of $10K or more over the past two years, including MIT Sloan ($16,446), Notre Dame ($12,381), and Yale SOM ($12,188).