Move Into Management with an MBA

The higher you look up the ladder in most corporations, the higher the concentration of business school graduates you will find. If you are a business professional with aspirations to become a leader, you can gain the training and confidence you will need to take on greater challenges by earning an MBA.

You may aspire to earn regular promotions into increasingly higher levels of management, or you may have dreams of eventually landing in a corner C-suite office overlooking downtown. Both ambitions are feasible, and are substantially more likely to be realized with an MBA. In fact, recent data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (below) shows strong prospects for employment and compensation for recent MBA graduates. At each level of management, by organizations in every industry and of every size, MBAs are in high demand.

No matter your ultimate ambitions, you can take inspiration from CEOs who rose to prominence after choosing the path you are now considering. “Several Fortune 100 chieftains say that it was the MBA that opened the door to opportunities that otherwise may have been closed to them,” according to a recent article in Poets & Quants.

Chevron CEO John Watson said the principles he learned as an MBA student guide the way he analyzes problems, approaches issues and leads his business. “I recall wondering just how much of what is taught here would have any relevance to the business world. And I’ve come back with the answer: a great deal.”

Retired Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney remembers his MBA experience. “You do come away feeling prepared for a business environment, which is often more about optimization than coming up with the right answer.”

GMAC Surveys All Show Strong Opportunity for MBA Graduates

GMAC 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report

The value proposition is strong, according to the 14,651 graduate business alumni across the globe who participated in this survey. Nearly all (95 percent) rate their education a good to outstanding value. In terms of career outcomes, MBA alumni respondents report that their graduate management education:

  • Prepared them for leadership positions (86 percent agree/strongly agree)
  • Prepared them for their chosen career (85 percent)
  • Increased their earnings power (82 percent)
  • Provided opportunities for quicker advancement (75 percent)
  • Developed their professional network (72 percent)
  • Improved their job satisfaction (67 percent)

The total compensation package for MBA alumni ranges from a median of $75,513 for an entry-level position upward to a median of $440,122 for a C-suite executive.

The report includes more than quantitative data; it also includes a qualitative appraisal of the value of the MBA through the perspectives of graduates. In these two quotes, recent MBA graduates confirm the value of the MBA in their careers:

“Eleven years out, I can see clearly how much the perspective I gained from an MBA prepared me to be a leader. It had become more visibly valuable over time.”

— Female, Full-Time Two-Year MBA, Class of 2005

“It has provided numerous career and general networking opportunities, such as the career change I made a year after receiving my MBA.”

— Male, Part-Time MBA, Class of 2011

GMAC 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report

Corporate hiring plans for 2017 are robust, with sustainable economic trends that portend well for MBA graduates far into the future. In 2017, U.S. employers planned to place recent graduate business hires into jobs at each level of business:

  • Entry Level – 56 percent
  • Mid-Level – 73 percent
  • Senior Level – 21 percent
  • Executive Level – 6 percent

At every level, prospects for employment and compensation are excellent for MBAs:

  • Nearly nine in 10 respondents (86 percent) report that their company plans to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017, up from 79 percent in 2016.
  • Demand for recent MBA graduates is strongest in the United States and Asia-Pacific, where nine in 10 respondents plan to hire them in 2017.
  • The median starting salary projected for a new MBA graduate is $110,000, an increase of $5,000 compared with 2016.
  • Starting salaries will increase at 52 percent of employers, at or above the inflation rate.
  • Signing bonuses will be offered by 65 percent of employers to recent business school graduate hires. The median signing bonus is $15,500.

In a strong economy, demand for skilled leaders is projected to remain high for the foreseeable future. If you would like to acquire the skills organizations require for management and executive-level positions, consider the proven impact of earning your MBA.

Learn more about Fitchburg State’s online MBA programs.


GMAC: 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report

GMAC: 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report

Poets & Quants: Fortune 100 CEOs: When They Were MBA Students

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