Stanford GSB | Ms. Civil Servant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. National Security Advisor
GMAT 670, GPA 3.3
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Military 2.0
GRE 310, GPA 2.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Navy Electronics
GRE 316, GPA 3.24
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Wharton | Ms. Future CEO
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Techie Teacher
GMAT 760, GPA 3.80
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Inclusive Consultant
GMAT 650, GPA 6.7
London Business School | Mr. Indian Electric Tech
GMAT 620, GPA 3.5
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Jones Graduate School of Business | Mr. Late Bloomer
GRE 325, GPA 7.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. MS From MSU
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Ms. Healthcare Visionary
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare VC
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. S&P Global
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Investment Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 2.2
Harvard | Mr. British Tech 2+2
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Ms. Kellogg Bound Ideator
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
IESE | Mr. Future Brand Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
IU Kelley | Mr. Tech Dreams
GMAT 770, GPA 3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Brazilian Black Engineer
GMAT 705, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Research 2+2
GMAT 740, GPA 3.96

The MBA Bump: How Much To Expect?

It’s called the MBA Bump: the increase in pay you can expect after you get the degree.

And for this year’s Class of 2012, the bump is bigger than it has been for many years. Graduates of full-time MBA programs are reporting average increases in their pre-MBA base salaries of 81% this year to a median of $90,000, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). That’s better than last year’s reported 73% bump and significantly better than the 63% increase reported for the Class of 2010 when the economy was in the tank.

Full-time, two-year MBA programs delivered the biggest increases. Graduates of part-time MBA programs, for example, reported a 53% rise in pre-MBA pay–28 percentage points lower than full-time MBAs (see table below).

The survey, released last week, found that MBA graduates with less than three years of work experience saw the largest bumps of any: a whopping 120%. That compares with 75% for graduates with three to six years of experience and 46% for grads with more than six years of work experience (see table on next page). The more years a person has been in the workforce also is more likely to mean that the graduate went for the degree part-time.

What’s more, the GMAC numbers are for MBA programs overall and not merely the top-ranked business schools whose graduates typically double their pre-MBA income. The study is based on 5,366 recent or soon-to-be graduates of business schools.

PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN ANNUAL BASE SALARY, BY SURVEY YEAR AND PROGRAM TYPE

Of course, these increases vary greatly by a number of factors, including industry, work experience, and gender. Interestingly enough, the MBAs who reported the largest bumps were those who were hired by companies after doing a summer internship with the same firm. “Participating in an internship while in school typically produces an additional 28 percent increase above the baseline salary increase a student receives who does not participate in an internship,” according to the GMAC study. “After graduation, the benefits of an internship are even greater. Those who participated in an internship and received an offer of employment from that internship more than doubled the salary increase received by graduates who continued working for the same employer during and after business school (see table below).”

PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN ANNUAL BASE SALARY, BY JOB STATUS

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.