Should you do an MBA?

Hult International Business School


Since the global financial crash of 2008, MBAs have been decreasing in popularity, and their value is being called into question more and more. Requiring time out from work and program fees in the tens of thousands of dollars, they require a significant investment of time and money. It’s no wonder people are asking: why do an MBA?

Does an MBA pay?

The biggest motivator for doing a Master of Business Administration degree was traditionally that it would result in a bigger salary. So is that still the case? The short answer is yes. Across the board, graduates are still seeing massive salary increases compared to their pre-MBA positions. Our own graduates, based on The Economist 2014 figures, see an average 122% increase in salary in as little as three months after graduation.


According to the Financial Times: “Those who graduated with a full-time MBA in 2011 earned an average 92% more three years after finishing their degree than they did before starting their course.”

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MBA programs – the career switcher’s friend

The financial return that you see on your degree will depend to a great extent on what you were doing before. Highly paid finance workers who earn an MBA and then continue their career in finance are unlikely to see it have an immediate effect on their salary. Conversely, those making a drastic career change – say from engineering to management consulting – can see a dramatic salary increase.

It’s not just changing industry or function that has a big impact on salary; changing location also has an effect. The benefits of the obvious moves from regions where salaries are less across the board, say from India to the U.S., still hold true today. But what’s clear is that other, less traditional moves from stagnant, saturated markets to ones where growth is fast and demand is high, are also having a significant impact; for example from Europe to the Middle East. Hot job markets evolve with movements in the global economy, and it’s worth bearing this in mind when considering where to base yourself for your post-MBA job and longer-term career.


MBAs in North America vs. the rest of the world

Business schools, and the MBA, were born in the United States. But it is primarily in high-growth markets, such as China and the U.A.E. where, business schools and MBAs continue to see fast-growing demand.

Many who are only interested in attending business school and pursuing a career in North America do not look beyond the ten or twenty best-known schools. But the chances of getting into these programs are so small, the number of candidates able to afford them fewer still, and the years it takes to start seeing a return so great, that it is little wonder alternative routes are becoming more attractive.

Those for whom Ivy League business schools aren’t an option are finding that international schools provide the U.S-accredited degree and international experience that provides the entrance into the job market they’re looking for.

MBAs are an education unlike any other

MBA students are results-oriented, and that’s the way it should be. It is only right to ask – what material gains am I going to see from this investment? But what can be overlooked is the value of a business education as just that, an education. The opportunity for personal growth that this learning experience offers is often what has the most profound impact on students.

It is these skills and experience that employers really care about, and that really matter to your long-term career. As Katharine Boshkoff, Vice President of Career Services and Alumni Relations at Hult, puts it:

“Employers care: can you build the business. We give you what employers need to build the business, which is teamwork, resilience, self-awareness – real skills for real business. The value isn’t just in the degree; it’s in the pragmatic, useful education.”

Interested in learning what a Hult MBA or Masters Degree can do for you? Contact us for a personalized consultation.

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