MBA degrees cost a lot of money. Harvard’s MBA will set you back by $150,000 in tuition fees alone. But increasingly, it looks like the heavy investment is worth it.
In the United States, starting salaries for MBA graduates after business school have hit a record high this year, according to new data from the Graduate Management Admission Council’s Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019.
According to GMAC, the median annual base starting salary U.S. employers plan to offer new MBA hires is $115,000, more than double the median for new bachelor’s degree hires.
GMAC’s report is based on survey of 1,202 employers of graduate business school students in 45 countries worldwide and covers hiring patterns for graduates across programs—MBA and specialized masters—industries, and regions.
Here, we highlight how MBA salaries are changing around the world; we report on MBA and masters hiring trends; and we tell you which countries are most welcoming when it comes to hiring international students. Clue: it’s not the United States.
Average MBA starting salaries vary considerably by world region. The median annual base salary that European companies plan to offer new MBA hires this year is $95,000, and the median for Asia-Pacific companies is $45,000—less than half of what’s on offer in the United States.
Employers in the Asia-Pacific (63 percent) and the United States (56 percent) are more likely to plan to increase MBA starting salaries this year compared with European employers (49 percent).
Among U.S. employers, median MBA starting salaries are highest in the consulting ($135,000) and finance ($125,000) industries, consistent with global trends. Employers in the Northeast tend to offer the highest salaries, with lower salaries in the South.
Signing bonuses are offered by more than half of U.S. companies (58 percent with an average signing bonus of over $10,000) and about a third of companies Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Benefit packages vary by world region.
Although master’s degrees are becoming more popular, MBA graduates—usually at a later stage of their careers—can expect to earn more. While U.S. companies plan to offer a median annual base starting salary of $80,000 to Master in Management hires, European employers plan to offer only $35,000, which is equal to what they plan to offer bachelor’s hires.
Business schools with the highest MBA salaries in the USA include Stanford GSB, Harvard Business School, and Wharton—dominated the top tiers.