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The Promise of Higher Pay Woos MBAs, Yet Earnings Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation

Students consistently say better pay is their top reason for attending business school.

The Promise of Higher Pay Woos MBAs, Yet Earnings Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation
The Promise of Higher Pay Woos MBAs, Yet Earnings Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation

The reasons prospective MBA students consider attending business school are multifaceted, but one theme consistently stands above the rest: higher salaries. When surveyed last year by as part of the Best B-Schools rankings, 73.3% of second-year students at US schools selected increased compensation as one of the top five factors (out of 13 choices, which include to develop better quantitative skills, to build a professional network and to become a better leader) they considered when deciding whether to pursue an MBA. The responses of alumni six to eight years out of school were similar.

All the stakeholders we survey—students, alumni and employers—collectively say compensation is more important than networking or even learning. That’s not surprising, given that the median gain in salary from students’ pre-MBA jobs to their first jobs out of business school in 2022 was $85,000.

The data below sheds light on 2022 MBA grads. Two-thirds of new hires ended up in either consulting, tech or finance, which are among the highest-paid industries.

The Promise of Higher Pay Woos MBAs, Yet Earnings Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation

• Bloomberg Businessweek’

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