Executive MBA

MBA Payouts By Occupation: Here’s What You’re Worth

What is your occupation?

For those born before 1960, work was both a livelihood and an identity. Where you worked and what you did expressed your view of the world. In many cases, it has determined your social circle as much as your long-term prospects. The man is now wearing shorts and chatting with the Istanbul team on Zoom. And forget the corporate stamp of approval. It was superseded by personal brands long ago.

What is your occupation? A better question is: Why is it important?

Simplicity: What you do determines what you build… at least at first.

Get consulting. In 2021, his MBA grad in Virginia-Darden made him $157,298 on average basis alone. That number was $150,808 in finance. The Darden base has $126,793 in general administration, $126,147 in marketing, and $117,500 in operations, so revenues drop further from there. In other words, excluding finance, there is a $30,000 to $40,000 pay gap between consulting and other occupations in the first year of post-MBA work alone. It spreads further. Add in a 5% annual salary increase, and the difference between her three years of consulting and marketing, for example, would be her $98,204, or $495,882 and $397,678.

That’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

Salary: Occupational Hazards

MBA base salaries also vary by business school. Let’s get back to marketing where the Stanford GSB graduate earned her $149,723 for her 2021 highest. This is overshadowed by nearby Berkley Haas ($136,810). Using the same three-year window and her 5% annual base salary increase, the Stanford marketer could earn nearly $76,000 more than her Kellogg colleagues.

Incentives such as tuition reimbursement, 401,000 matches, profit sharing, performance bonuses and stock options are not taken into account. These variables can add six figures to your starting MBA salary.

A base salary may not provide the perfect compensation picture, but it still provides great value for an MBA. One is to set a baseline for what MBA graduates are worth in a particular industry. This could be useful in negotiating non-consulting roles where MBAs have more leeway in negotiating salary packages. For a career changer, it can pinpoint her early ROI on tuition and living expenses (not to mention giving up two years’ worth of salary). If you’re targeting specific roles, occupational salaries can show you how to compare base salaries from different schools side-by-side. Translation: Salary provides a rough measure of how a program is most trusted by employers in a particular field. It includes everything from proficiency to connections with alumni in specific roles and companies.

What are the average wage rates for consulting, finance, marketing, etc.? What are the caps for these locations? How have these numbers changed over the past two years? See high, average, and low salaries by industry and school, and how they’ve changed over the past two years.



General management



Management Information System/Human Resources

Other occupation

Overall MBA payment per school

Editor’s Note:

Salary data for the 2022 class will start trickling out in the fall.

Don’t Miss: MBA Payouts By Region: Here’s Your Value

#MBA #Payouts #Occupation #Heres #Youre #Worth

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