Australian MBAs the highest paid

131001 jobs_salary_trends_2013_2014Australian MBAs are the highest paid in the world, according to the latest survey of MBA salary trends.

The QS Global Employer Survey showed Australian MBAs are paid an average of $US133,100, with Switzerland and Denmark taking second and third spot respectively. Despite the reputation of top US-based MBA courses, the average US MBA makes less than $US100,000.

The report showed salaries have continued to increase substantially in Asia, up 8%, and have been fairly stable in Western markets, but overall MBA compensation has increased almost everywhere as companies increase their bonus payments. The top ten countries in terms of average MBA compensation in 2013 are:

  1. Australia (US$133,100)
  2. Switzerland (US$129,700)
  3. Denmark (US$121,400)
  4. UK (US$106,100)
  5. France (US$100,800)
  6. US (US$98,300)
  7. Brazil (US$97,200)
  8. Germany (US$93,700)
  9. Spain (92,900)
  10. Canada (US$91,600)

Total compensation offered by international employers for MBA hires increased by 8% in Asia-Pacific to US$85,000, by 5% in Middle East to US$76,400, but was flat in Latin America at US$72,200. The increases in emerging markets can partly be explained by an increased tendency for employers to pay bonuses to MBA new hires.

MBA Salaries Equalising

The report also showed further evidence that MBA salaries were evening out across the world.

“As more employers compete in the global market for top MBA talent, we observe a longer-term equalization of MBA salaries across regions(this trend has been on-going for over a decade),” the report said. “Western Europe and North American salaries remain very similar overall and across most industries. The gap between the highest international MBA salary region – North America – and the lowest – Latin America – is now only 30%, compared to 50% a decade ago.”

The QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report provides the first view of MBA compensation trends in 2013 based on a survey of 4,318 actively hiring MBA recruiters, including 1,011 new respondents.

“With no evidence of MBA demand abating in emerging markets, we continue to predict that MBA salaries are likely to increase again in 2014, supported by renewed confidence in North America and Europe,” the report said.

MBA Job Opportunities on the Rise

QS Jobs Index shows an overall 14% increase in MBA job opportunities in 2013. While this is a drop from the 15% growth recorded in 2012, it is still very favourable compared to the -5% decline experienced as recently as 2009, and remains in line with the long-term trend growth rate of 15% per annum as reported by QS TopMBA since 1990.

It seems the MBA qualification continues to play a central role in the battle for global economic supremacy, with companies in emerging markets fuelling worldwide growth in demand for MBAs.

Asia is world’s most dynamic MBA market, with a 20% growth rate, ahead of Middle East (8%), Latin America (6%), and Central Europe (6%).

Demand for MBAs in the technology sectors has undergone an era of unprecedented growth, especially in Asia. As reported last year, an increasing number of high technology and computer services companies are looking to MBAs to commercialise their products.A concentration of this growth is taking place in Asia, with big US employers actively hiring in the region. Overall high technology demand grew by 11% in 2013,while telecoms grew by 8%.

The MBA recruitment market is probably the most globally flexible recruitment market of any profession, with employers willing to embrace career changers and targeting an incredible breadth of nationalities and skill sets. Our 2013 research reveals that employers continue to seek more experienced MBA candidates, preferably with international experience, combined with strong interpersonal and ‘soft’ skills, and employers are increasingly willing to look internationally to find the right talent.


Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (