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Financial Benefits of Earning an MBA

Interested in doubling your salary? It may take more than asking for a raise. Boosting skills, taking on additional responsibilities, even relocating are just a few ways to potentially increase earnings. Obtaining an advanced degree is another.

For business-minded professionals, there is a lot to be said for earning a Master in Business Administration (MBA). For starters, six-figure base salaries are the norm. And with a program such as the convenient and affordable online MBA at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), students can be on their way to achieving their career goals in just one year.

Are Student Loans Worth It?

There is plenty of evidence to back up the financial rewards of having an MBA. But is an MBA worth going into debt with student loans?

According to student loan planner Travis Hornsby, MBAs have “a reasonably easy time repaying their loans.” One reason is that MBA programs are shorter than other professional graduate school programs, such as medical, dental and law school programs. Less time in school translates to less time to accumulate debt.

Tuition is another consideration. At Northern Kentucky University (NKU), the total program cost as of March 2018 was an affordable $16,995 for the online MBA. And unlike some programs, tuition is the same whether students live in or out of state. Plus, students can continue working and gaining valuable experience while they are in school.

How Much Can MBA Graduates Earn?

Based on median annual salaries, MBA alumni enjoy significantly higher earnings than graduates with a bachelor’s degree. Based on a Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey of corporate recruiters, companies plan to offer MBAs nearly double what they expect to pay candidates with bachelor’s degrees.

That is particularly good news in the context of the overall salary picture. Business Insider reports that nearly two-thirds of households in the United States earn less now than they did more than 15 years ago.

An interactive GMAC tool makes it easy to compare MBA salaries across key industries. Overall, MBAs can expect a median base salary of $110,000 per year. Only one industry, nonprofit/government, did not top $100,000 in median base salaries.

At the C-Suite level, median salaries jump to $220,000, and top executives in some industries may earn much more. As the following GMAC data indicates, an MBA can lead to rewarding salaries.

Industry Annual Salary, All Levels Annual Salary, C-Suite
Consulting $120,000 $250,000
Energy and Utilities $120,000 $212,500
Finance and Accounting $110,000 $250,000
Healthcare $117,000 $255,000
Manufacturing $112,500 $230,000
Nonprofit/Government $92,000 $135,000
Products and Services $107,000 $236,000
Tech $117,000 $197,500

Job prospects for MBAs appear to be just as strong as the salaries. Based on the 2017 GMAC survey, MBAs are in demand, with nine in 10 companies planning to hire recent MBA graduates.

The financial benefits of an MBA extend beyond the strong job outlook and potential salary boost. MBA graduates can apply their advanced understanding of finance management to their personal finances — household budgeting and retirement investing, for example. All that financial expertise might also give MBA graduates an edge when it comes to repaying any student debt they may have as quickly as possible!

Learn more about NKU’s online MBA program.


Millennial Money: Are Insanely Large Student Loans Worth It?

GMAC: New Tool from GMAC Lets Students Estimate Their Post-MBA Salary

Business Insider: How to Double Your Salary in 2 Years

GMAT: How Much Can I Earn After Business School?

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