The true value of an MBA

130622 GMAC mba prepared for futureEach year the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) undertakes surveys of the value of an MBA across three dimensions: personal, professional, and financial. Here is an overview of the results across each of the dimensions.


Of MBA alumni from the classes of 2000-2012:

  • 94 percent say their MBA was personally rewarding.
  • 93 percent say their MBA prepared them for leadership positions.
  • 85 percent say their MBA prepared them to manage work/life balance.


Of MBA alumni from the class of 2012:

  • 77 percent of class of 2012 MBA alumni viewed their degree as essential for obtaining their first job after graduation.
  • 72 percent of class of 2012 MBA alumni are satisfied or very satisfied with their current jobs.

Of MBA alumni from the classes of 2000 to 2012:

  • 80 percent (87 percent of full-time MBAs) say their promotion came faster than or when they expected.
  • 79 percent report that having a graduate management degree offers greater job stability in a weak economy.
  • High percentages report good to outstanding career outcomes from their degrees in a variety of professional areas such as qualitative analysis (95 percent); quantitative analysis (92 percent); development of professional network (91 percent); preparation for their chosen career (90 percent); faster career advancement (87 percent); and improved job satisfaction (87 percent).

Financial130622 GMAC average expected income

Class of 2013 graduating MBAs:

  • Expected an average (median) pre- to post-MBA increase in salary of 79 percent for full-time one-year MBAs, 39 percent for executive/part-time MBAs, and 71 percent of combined (full-time, part-time, and executive) for MBA graduating students.

MBA new hires in 2013:

  • Were expected to command a US$43,000 salary premium over new bachlor’s degree recipients in the US.
  • Were expected to draw a wide range of salaries, varying substantially by job function, experience, industry, and world region. Expected media starting salary for class of 2013 MBA new hires was US$95,000 in the US, US$85,000 in Europe.

Class of 2012 MBA alumni:

  • Typically recouped 38 percent of their financial investment in the first year after graduation.
  • Recouped, on average, their full investment after four years.

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 (