Higher salaries and overall better job prospects are one of the reasons that people choose to pursue a masters of business administration (MBA). Looking at the statistics, it’s clear that an MBA can open doors and lead to greater opportunities. In fact, an MBA degree can lead to an 80% increase in salary upon graduation. Given the cost of an MBA degree, it’s important to factor in the increased salary when deciding whether to get this type of degree. If you’re thinking about applying to programs, here’s what you need to know.
Highest Overall Salaries
In 2019, the average salary for a newly graduated MBA student was approximately $107,000, including bonuses (1). The median salary for newly hired graduates that same year was $115,000 (2), representing the highest median salary on record for MBA grads.
The highest salaries are generally awarded to students who successfully graduate from the most selective programs in the country. For these job candidates, the average overall salaries come in at around $174,000. Clearly, the program makes all the difference. Students who prioritize a high salary and success post-graduation must work hard to be accepted into the most selective program possible.
Highest Salaries, Sorted by Industry
Some industries have higher average salaries than others. Below are the highest paying starting salaries for recent MBA grads in 2019, sorted by industry.
- Consulting – $140,000
- Finance – $130,000
- Technology – $121,000
- Retail – $115,000
- Real Estate – $112,000
- Healthcare – $110,000
- Media – $109,000
- Energy – $109,000
While no one should choose their job based on salary alone, the above industries can be very lucrative. If you’re interested in a career in one of the above areas, choose a program that teaches skills relevant to that industry.
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.Peter Drucker
Get the Most Out of Your MBA
High salary isn’t everything, but it is important. In fact, high salary and job satisfaction often go hand-in-hand. If you’re pursuing an MBA and you’re seeking the highest salary possible, below are some suggestions.
Make yourself a good candidate for the best MBA programs. Knowing what business schools are looking for can help you position yourself as an attractive candidate to the most competitive programs.
- High GMAT scores. The best business schools typically seek students with a GMAT score of 700 or higher. To get the best score possible, study for the GMAT, take practice tests and work with a tutor.
- Industry experience. Many programs seek applicants who have at least three to five years of experience in the industry, including some years in leadership or management positions.
- Soft skills. Emotional intelligence is important in business. Business school recruiters look for students who are able to relate to others, make people feel comfortable and successfully lead groups in projects. The best way to get this experience is in the workplace. Put yourself in a position to lead committees. Apply for management positions when they come up. Take company training to improve your emotional intelligence.
- Communication skills. Business school recruiters look for candidates who can communicate their ideas properly, because an important part of being successful in business is in communicating ideas to others. Work on your interview skills. Practice communicating verbally and in the written word.
Apply to the Best Programs
People who graduate from good programs generally find jobs quickly after graduating. Apply to the best programs for which you qualify. Double and triple check each application before sending them in. Practice interviewing. Research each program before applying, to ensure that your application highlights the strengths that particular program seeks out.
Time it Right
Timing is everything. If you don’t have several years of experience in the workforce before applying to graduate school, you may not be accepted to the programs of your choice. Make a timeline and determine when is the best time in your career to get your MBA. Once you know when you plan to enter an MBA program, spend your time up to that point brushing up your skills for your eventual application.
Choose the Right Industry
Now that you know which industries pay the best, consider a position in those industries if they appeal to you. Don’t pursue an industry simply because of pay. Match your skill set, interests and passions to the position. Consider the most in-demand industries in your geographical area (unless you’re open to moving), and look for a position in an industry that has a good outlook for potential future employment.
Full-time standard MBA programs give students the opportunity to meet others who share their interests. During their months in school, they are also given the opportunity to participate in exciting internships while learning to integrate themselves into corporate culture. Taking full advantage of these opportunities, you’ll be a more attractive job candidate upon graduation, and you’ll be eligible for a higher salary.
Get Your Degree Today
Are you seeking to further your career and make more money? With a masters of business administration degree, you can pursue a job in nearly any industry. Your MBA will give you the skills you need to find success. To get started, begin preparing for your degree now. Start studying for the GMAT, begin researching potential business schools, and start building the skills that will help in your future MBA program.