What makes people want to do an MBA? It’s not the money

150317 why an mba survey resultsCareer acceleration is the number one reason people want to do an MBA, according to a survey of more than 1,000 MBA News readers.

Asked why they wanted to do an MBA, nearly 50% of respondents to the survey chose “To accelerate my career”. “To enhance my management skills” was the second most popular response with 26.7% followed by “To make more money” with about 18.5%.

MBA News Editor Ben Ready said the survey reflected anecdotal evidence that pure financial motives were not the key driver for most prospective MBAs.

“The tangible financial benefits of an MBA even after the cost are well documented with the expected increase in salary one of the key points of difference between different business schools,” he said.

“However, this survey shows people are primarily interested in giving their career trajectory a rapid acceleration, with the understanding that the financial benefits are a by-product of that acceleration.

“One of the key benefits of an MBA is its ability to separate graduates from non-MBAs in a competitive employment market.

“In a field of candidates for promotion an MBA can be the key factor in differentiating you from the competition. It sends a clear message to your employer about who you are and what you want to offer the business.”

The pre-MBA expectations closely align with the outcomes for post-MBA students.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)‘s 2015 Alumni Perspectives Survey found climbing higher in executive ranks and better job satisfaction were the key benefits of graduate business education.

GMAC surveyed more than 12,000 graduate business school alumni from more than 230 graduate business programs across 71 universities in 19 locations around the world. The results provided a global snapshot of career progression and employment for alumni representing the classes of 1959 through to 2014.

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With an overwhelming endorsement of graduate business education, alumni not only believe their education was a driving force in their professional progression but also noted how their engagement with their business school alumni associations were also contributing factors to their future success.

The survey found that the majority of business school graduates held senior-level positions or higher five years after graduation. At 10 years, 25% are in executive-level positions and 5% are in the “c-suite” (e.g. CEO, CFO, COO).

The majority of alumni also reported higher levels of job satisfaction and credit their graduate management education for preparing them for their careers and for accelerating the pace of their career advancement.



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 (rgcmm.com.au).