Average salary for an MBA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Kizmet, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Good article, I believe the salaries are accurate. Business schools tend to inflate their stats so it is good to have sources like this one that are less bias.

    50K might seem low but many MBA graduates have degree in arts and are coming from salaries that are considerably lower.
  3. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    I remember when the MBA was the hottest ticket in the job market. It's one of the main reasons I decided to pursue an MBA. I remember reading an article once that said "MBA = BMW." Seems silly to me now, but hey, I was once young and impressionable.

    I believe the MBA is no longer the golden ticket to the good life primarily because so many people have these degrees now. Recruiters and interviewers now shrug their shoulders when they see the MBA on resumes.
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    If you search for jobs that require an MBA, these only represent a small fraction of the available business jobs. Most companies are not willing to pay high salaries due to cost reduction policies so prefer to promote internal people with less education that can cost less and might be more productive at least in the short term.

    It seems that most people that get the MBA is mainly to stand out from the crowd or many use it as a way to get access to business jobs (e.g. Arts or Engineering graduates).

    These degrees are still very popular, mainly because they seem to have at least some ROI compared to other masters degrees.
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You make up a lot of stuff about how corporations function.

    The reason why MBAs are not commanding massive salaries is because, with the glut of MBA grads we presently see, the requirement keeps getting pushed to lower and lower levels.

    Years ago an MBA wasn't required unless you were a midlevel manager. That was convenient because many MBA programs wouldn't admit you unless you had at least a few years of work experience. At that time the MBA was a ticket to the executive suite.

    Enter the combined 5 year BS/MBA and the fact that every school seems to offer the program now, including universities that didn't have business schools 10 years ago, and you end up with a surplus of new, inexperienced MBA grads. You also run into job postings for things like call center workers where an MBA is "preferred."

    In 1980 a person with an MBA in NYC was roughly on the same playing field as someone with a JD or an MD in terms of prestige and earning potential. If you were a local in NYC that MBA had only a few possible local sources: Columbia, NYU, Fordham, Baruch etc. Branch into Northern NJ and Long Island and you get a few more options. But they were all relatively well regarded.

    Flash forward and there are so many programs that admissions standards at anything below the absolute top tier have relaxed to the point where almost anyone with an undergrad degree can get in. The same thing happened with lawyers.

    The fact that people use it as an entry level credential is one of the factors that leads to the degree being devalued. The Art History major who earns an MBA to get a "real" job has no more business experience than they did before. They likely cannot add any actual value to their company fresh out of the gate. But, if they were able to get an MBA from a top tier school they might actually be able to make a very respectable living.

    But with so many of them floating around it is more of an expectation in many circles than a way to stand out. If everyone in town is wearing a red shirt then buying your own red shirt isn't likely going to help you stand out from the crowd.

    Everything has ROI. That return might be negative but there is always some sort of return.
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    My sister-in-law is a Harvard MBA, she told me awhile ago that no one she knew in her graduating class didn't have an offer for a 6-figure job upon graduation (this was the early-90's). I don't know if that was the climate at the time, the quality of that particular class (Abigail Johnson of Fidelity was her classmate), or something else.

    I suspect that the Harvard MBA in the article who took the $50K job at a non-profit did so out of personal reasons, and likely could have landed a much better paying job, had he/she desired.
  7. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I saw an ad last month on Indeed for a Gas Station job requiring an MBA, offering a 30K salary. Yeah.

    Companies are hip to the over-saturation of MBA's. I've seen a lot of ads where the MBA is required to be from a top-ranked school, and others that look for programmatic accreditation attached (AACSB, ACBSP).
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    My favorite terrible job posting was one for a small construction company that wanted a CPA. Responsibilities would include "managing the books" and answering the phone. Starting pay $9/hr, no benefits.

    I don't believe they ever found a CPA stupid enough to accept that job. But when you get that perfect storm of an employer being ignorant about a particular qualification and a saturated job market you can get some downright odd situations.

    Had you ever told me as a kid that there would be unemployed architects and lawyers when I grew up I would have thought you were on crack. In fact, I distinctly recall laughing off a friend who told me that one day the lawyer market was going to bottom out and there would be more jobs than lawyers before we even graduated from high school. His timeline was somewhat off but he called it.

    But I'd say that, in general, the prospects for a WGU MBA and a Harvard MBA are very different.
  9. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    That's just awful.

    I saw a job ad once that said specifically that it was "entry-level." They wanted two years of experience. I sent them an email and told them that they were being knuckleheads.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "Pick one."
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    thanks for enlightening me about how corporations work. I guess I should return my MSc in Accounting and Finance as I don't even know what a ROI is and should give back all the money that I have made in Risk Management consulting to my customers due to my poor understanding of finance.

    If you are so good, how come you invest about 4 hrs a day in this forum? I charge about 200 dlls an hour, your time invested here should be worth at least 1000 bucks. I think your talent is wasted here. A humble opinion
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Based upon your usage of "ROI" all of that might be a very good idea. Everything has an ROI. It might not be a good ROI. But there will be a return, of some sort, on an investment. Having "some ROI" is an odd thing for someone so well educated in Finance to say.

    If you advise clients as badly as you did for your fictional IT professional, John Smith, in the other thread then I'm not impressed. Risk Management also means different things in different contexts. Our Risk Management office handles workers compensation and our insurance programs. At a hedge fund it involves a bit more math. What you do, or don't do, is really of no concern to me. Again, when you come here and make statements you are subjecting them to public scrutiny and comment. If you need someone to simply accept everything you say without question then I suggest adopting a pet.

    I don't spend four hours a day here. I post periodically throughout the day. I am a full-time HR Business Partner. I keep DI minimized and typically check it when I need a break from whatever I'm doing. The guy in the next office does the same thing with college sports. Across from him is a woman who snipes collectible teapots on eBay when she isn't hiring interns. I work in an office where people are generally free to tinker around on the internet as long as they get their work done. In total I'd say I spend no more than a half hour actually typing here if you added it all up. Some people smoke. Some people comment on the internet. I also don't make $200 per hour. Then again, I get a clean 40 hours per week and don't have to worry where my next 40 are coming from. You, obviously, have to do a bit of hustling. Otherwise you'd be making over $400k per year and I'd really have to question why you feel the need to vigorously defend yourself against strangers on the internet when you could be, I dunno, spending $400,000.

    Though I guess you could very well be typing all of this from a private island. But that wouldn't change my criticisms of your statements.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I used to get annoyed by this, but an HR manager on another forum explained that an entry-level position does not necessarily mean that it is a job that requires no experience. It could be the lowest level position in a job series at that organization.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This makes sense to me and I do not necessarily see any contradiction. I have a friend, a Therapist, and her organization only hires licensed Therapists. In order to get your license you need at least 2 years of experience. So clearly you need experience even to apply for a job in that organization.
  15. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I think the problem is that the term "entry-level" is considered by more than most as a job that requires no experience, it's even defined that way by several reputable sources alongside attaching it to hierarchy.

    To avoid confusion, I think it just makes better sense to say the job requires a certain amount of experience instead of using the term entry-level. For the most part, I see employers mention the experience needed.
  16. expat_eric

    expat_eric New Member

    You might say that but you would probably be wrong in many cases. I think it all depends on the individual situation. If a person has no work experience and is entering the workforce for the first time then of course a Harvard MBA would be a better short term ROI. However what about the person who has worked 15 years at a fortune 500 company and just needs the MBA to check the box for the next promotion? I suspect the WGU MBA would be a much better investment.
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    If you take each degree in a vacuum then you might be right. But degrees aren't earned in a vacuum. WGU has very few networking opportunities. You might encounter a hiring manager who is familiar with the school and is maybe even an alumnus. But you don't have a roommate from WGU and fond memories of the parties you used to go to at Patten.

    When you are physically sitting in a classroom with people, many of whom are the children of wealthy business people, you are networking in ways that WGU can never offer.

    This is the case with most MBA programs below the top tier. Most people have more modest goals. But if your aim is to work at a hedge fund the in-roads provided by the Harvard program likely outweigh the academics.
  18. prloko

    prloko New Member

    The Harvard MBA would still be a better investment.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    In general, this is my experience as well.
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This hypothetical employee might also be getting a fair amount of tuition assistance from that Fortune 500 employer and so might be more likely to go for one of those executive MBA programs that tends to cost a bit more. Hypothetically.

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