The Value of an MBA Is What It Means to You

Jan 26, 2018
Tags: MBA, Official GMAT, Value of an MBA

The value of the MBA goes far beyond earning a greater salary. For many, it’s a rare opportunity to pause and reflect not only on their careers, but on their lives as whole, and lay a solid foundation for personal, professional, and financial growth. Each year, GMAC Research surveys thousands of MBA alumni working around the world in a diverse array of industries and job functions to gain their perspective on the value of their business school experience and what it’s meant to them.

Personal Rewards

  • Nine in 10 MBA graduates from 2016 and 2017 report being satisfied with their business school experience (90%) and say it was personally rewarding (93%).
  • About 3 in 4 recent graduates say earning their MBA prepared them to better manage their work-life balance (77%) and improved their job satisfaction (74%).

Professional Rewards

  • Seven in 10 recent MBA graduates say they could not have landed their current job without their MBA (70%). Nine in 10 MBA alumni of all graduation years say their graduate management education was professionally rewarding (89%).
  • Nearly 9 in 10 MBA alumni of all graduation years say their degree itself (86%) and the skills they learned in business school (88%) moved them further along in their careers. Seventy-nine percent are satisfied with their career progression to date.
  • About 3 in 4 MBA alumni say their business school experience prepared them for their chosen career (80%), prepared them to work in culturally diverse organizations (76%), and developed their professional network (74%).

Financial Rewards

  • The median difference in pre- and post-degree annual salaries for 2016 and 2017 full-time MBA graduates currently working in the US is US$40,000—a salary jump of 62 percent.
  • The vast majority of full-time MBA alumni say their degree increased their earnings power (90%) and that earning their MBA was financially rewarding (84%).

Beyond the Numbers: Personal Stories of the Value of an MBA

Nick Quan, a second-year MBA student in the class of 2013 at Arizona State University, is married with three children and spent his professional career mostly with the same company. He says his choice to quit his job and go back to school full-time was a big leap of faith but a decision that his family decided “would be a great long-term decision, giving me the tools for a career change.”

Erin Whalen at the University of Texas, a second-year MBA who successfully launched two businesses in her career, realized that an MBA was a necessity to get her to the next level. 

“The decision to leave the ‘real world’ and spend two years back in school was not an easy one. I had to balance the things I was giving up against the opportunities an MBA would provide.”

Hear more personal stories about the value of an MBA from student video bloggers.

You Can Be Next

What impact would an MBA have on your life? The answer is yours to determine. Every year, thousands of people from diverse backgrounds make the choice to pursue an MBA—will you be among them? Start your journey today by exploring programs from more than 7,000 programs and book your testing date for the GMAT exam—the most widely used assessment for MBA admissions for more than 60 years.