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What to Expect After Earning Your MBA

What to Expect After Earning Your MBA

Posted February 11, 2016 by Lee Davidson - Senior Associate, Copywriter/Editor - AACSB International

So You Earned an MBA

Congratulations! Now that you’ve earned your MBA, what can you realistically expect in terms of job, salary, and return on your investment? Even the best MBA programs don’t guarantee you’ll immediately land your dream job or receive a significant salary bump upon graduating. However, an MBA degree will improve your chances of getting hired in the industry you desire, advancing your career if you’re currently in the workforce, or starting a new career path—all faster and with a higher likelihood for success than if you didn’t have the degree.

Life After an MBA—Job Prospects and Demand

Last year, AACSB International and MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA)—two global organizations—partnered to conduct research on business graduates worldwide, and one outcome of that alliance resulted in the blog post, “How Many Business Graduates Are Seeking Employment—And Do They Find It?” According to this post, which looks at jobs obtained after an MBA, 82.6 percent of MBA graduates found employment within three months of graduation, with 66.6 percent of that group accepting jobs by the time of graduation. Additionally, results from a recent GMAC survey note that in 2015, MBA hiring was in an upward trend, stating that “84 percent of companies worldwide plan to add new MBAs to their workforce—up from 74 percent in 2014 and 62 percent five years ago.” In yet another global survey, by Advent Group, “60 per cent of all MBA alumni respondents currently hold mid or senior level management positions.” To put it more plainly, life after an MBA looks good!

MBA ROI—Salary Potential for Graduates

Let’s be honest: an MBA is a personally rewarding, professionally enriching experience, but for the investment made in a part-time, online, or full-time MBA, graduates really want to see a return via MBA salaries. But what do these salaries actually look like? The answer is complex. We went to our own virtual vault of data—the largest collection of business school data on the planet!—to find some figures. Among AACSB-accredited schools worldwide, the average highest-reported salary from our most recent employment survey is 114,024 USD. The reported salaries, which span continents, are based on students who accepted jobs within three months after MBA graduation. So why not provide an average? In fact, schools did provide average salaries for their MBA graduates, but without the actual salary figures that contributed to those averages, we aren’t able to give a reliable number; basically, we can’t average averages. But to offer a broader perspective, the above-mentioned GMAC survey looked globally at salaries for jobs after an MBA and found that “more than half of employers will increase starting salaries for new MBA hires in 2015.” So recent graduates of MBA programs, as well as those to come, can look forward to greater earning potential.

It may take some time to fully realize the value of your MBA in the workplace, but all signs—and data—point to success for the hard work you put into your degree. No longer do you need to contemplate the question, is an MBA degree worth it? Definitively, it is.

Check out our related post that takes a more in-depth look at highest and lowest MBA salaries.