For anyone still deliberating about the value of MBA studies, a Poets & Quants article published Businessweek data that shows significant increases between 2012 MBA graduates’ pre- and post-degree salaries. Graduates from 22 of the top U.S. programs achieved a salary increase of at least 50%. At seven of the schools, alumni doubled their pre-studies salaries.
The most significant increases did not necessarily belong to graduates from the top programs- alumni from Broad, Mendoza, and Carlson earned starting salaries (not including benefits and signing bonuses) significantly higher (an increase of over 100%) than their pre-studies salaries.
What about graduates from the top programs? Alumni from Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford did not report a significant increase in their post-degree wages since their pre-degree salaries were fairly high, though graduates from these programs achieved the highest starting salaries. The median salary for Stanford graduates is $125,000, the highest among the programs, which reflects an increase of 38.9% compared with pre-degree. The median salary for Wharton and Harvard graduates stands at $120,000, reflecting an increase of 33.3% compared with pre-degree, the lowest percent increase among all top-30 U.S. programs. In the fourth spot were MIT alumni with a median starting salary of $118,500 and alumni from Chicago, Kellogg, and Tuck took the 5-7 spots with $115,000.
In addition to salary alone there are benefits based mainly on the schools’ rank and reputation. For example, three out of every four Harvard graduates won median signing bonuses of $20,000, and one out of every five won median “other guaranteed compensation” of $25,230.
The data on starting salaries for MBA graduates over the years shows that in general nothing has changed recently. The median salaries for graduates from Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Yale have hardly changed in the last three years, while graduates from Chicago ($115,000), and Duke ($110,000) did show an increase in starting salaries when compared with 2010 and 2011.