Can An MBA Actually Earn You More Money?
If you’re deciding on pursuing an MBA, there are probably a few questions you’re asking yourself. How much money would an MBA put me back? Is there significant value that an MBA would add to my career? And most importantly, would an MBA help me earn more money? The short answer to the last question is this: It depends.
One factor to consider is how MBA costs differ by various locations. In Asia, heavy investment in business schools is driving heavy growth in the MBA population. According to INTHEBLACK — an Australian monthly business magazine — Asia is setting MBA benchmarks and it’s paying off.
Ben Ready is the founder and editor of MBA News. He tells INTHEBLACK that Asia’s investment in MBAs has lured many students and achieved great results.
“Asia is setting the benchmarks for what a great MBA should be,” Ready says. “Within a decade or so it could well be challenging some of the old global favorites and elites that have held the crown for so many years.”
Yet, western countries still rank highly for MBA salaries. According to data by QS Top MBA, the US comes in second for highest starting MBA salaries with an average MBA starting salary of $100,714. Australia came in first with an average MBA starting salary of $108,250. Of course, that’s the overall universe of schools. If you look at the top U.S. options, meaning the top 30 to 50 schools, U.S. schools can still beat any other countries’ schools hands down.
Few Asian countries, with the exception of Singapore and Malaysia, even make the top 10 list for highest starting MBA salaries. When considering data like this, it appears Asia still has a few more years to go before it realizes its full MBA potential.
When looking at salaries for MBAs, it’s also important to consider the industry. According to US News data, consulting is the highest paying industry among 2016 MBA grads with an average salary of $126,919
While the pay off for MBAs certainly looks reassuring, experts say an MBA isn’t a golden ticket to financial success. When considering schools, the most important factor is to find a program that matches your field of study and one that has access to professional networks.
Ready tells INTHEBLACK that the real value of an MBA is the “strong friendships forged under pressure.”
“The strategy or finance theory might be outdated 10 years on, but you’ll always have those relationships,” he says.
Ready adds that he believes the future of the MBA is still strong.
“There was a bit of a lull after the GFC [global financial crisis] because a lot of people get a company to fund their MBA, and a lot of companies had tightened their belts,” Ready tells INTHEBLACK. “So there was a little smell around the MBA at that time, but it has taken the mantle again as the postgraduate business degree to have.”