Where In The World Is The MBA Most Valued?

Many of the funky results came in the salary reporting section. To figure average salaries, Iqbal says employers are asked to report salary and bonus amounts in either U.S. dollars, Euros, or British Pounds. If the amounts were reported in Euros or Pounds, they were converted into dollar amounts.

For the past three years, the report says the MBA has proven to be most lucrative in the U.S. and Canada. Despite a 4% decrease from the previous year, the U.S. and Canada still lead the rest of the world with an average combined salary and bonus amount of  $123,400. According to the report, Latin American MBAs continue to struggle, where salaries have decreased by 31% since 2013. Obviously, the fluctuations can have a lot to do with which employers report from year-to-year. Not to mention it’s a region with incredibly varying economies in Latin America. Still, according to the report MBAs working in Latin America make on average $54,500.

For some idea on how cost-of-living figures into this, Expatistan, a international cost-of-living calculator sheds some light. For example, right now it takes about 65% less money to live in Bogota, Colombia, as it does in San Francisco. If you were to move from San Francisco to, say, Nairobi, Kenya, you could survive on 51% less. But if you relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, you’d actually need 14% more than San Francisco. In Auckland, New Zealand, you’d need 28% less.

The separation of salaries from bonuses either resembles some flaws in the study or illuminates the instability of MBA pay in developing and emerging economies. In more established economies located in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, salary levels have remained largely the same from 2014 to 2015. Conversely, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America have seen some huge fluctuations in salary amounts. Still, since 2013, average salaries have increased in all regions except Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The higher salaries in North America can most likely be attributed to cost of living, prestige of business schools, and the amount of MBAs entering such high-paying industries as consulting, finance, and tech. As Poets&Quants reported in July, Class of 2014 graduates from the top 25 schools entering consulting all had six-figure median base salaries. Graduates from the top 15 schools reported median base salaries of $135,000. In finance, all but two schools reported six-figure median base salaries (and Stanford’s GSB reported a whopping $150,000). Same goes for tech, where all but two schools reported six-figure median base salaries.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.