MBA Graduates Command a Salary Premium in the Hiring Market

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Globally, most companies say that they are increasing starting salaries for MBA hires.

Earning an MBA brings several advantages, not the least of which is enhanced earning potential. For decades, MBA graduates have successfully converted the skillsets and networks they developed as a part of their business school experience into higher starting salaries. New findings from GMAC’s 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey show that this year’s MBA graduates will continue to command a salary premium relative to direct from industry hires and bachelor’s degree hires.

The survey found that companies in the United States, for example, will offer a median base starting salary of US$105,000 to recent MBA graduates in 2018, compared with US$85,000 for direct-from-industry new hires and US$65,000 for bachelor’s degree new hires. This data is reflected in the graphic below. 

MBA graduates who land opportunities with Asia Pacific, European, and Latin American companies also command a salary premium. Globally, most companies (52%) say that they are increasing base starting salaries for MBA hires this year compared with last year. Sixteen percent of companies say they plan to increase salaries above the rate of inflation, while 36 percent will increase salaries at the rate of inflation. 

The 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey was conducted in February and March 2018 in association with career services offices at 96 participating graduate business schools worldwide. Analysis is based on responses from 1,066 employers in 42 countries worldwide who work directly with participating business schools.

Are you ready to increase your salary with an MBA? Take your career to the next level by exploring the programs at more than 1,600 business schools using School Search and book your testing date for the GMAT exam—the most widely used assessment for MBA admissions for more than 60 years. 


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