While articles proliferate around whether MBA salaries have gone up or down this year, an article in BusinessWeek (“EMBA Salary Benefits: Less Than They Appear?”) reports that the Executive MBA Council survey results had some pleasant surprises. It looks like salaries have increased by 16.3% for 2011 EMBA graduates 20 months after graduation. The rise in salary upon graduation for full-time working students that took classes on the weekend was only 11.4% in 2010.
While the high salaries of 2011 sound promising, there are a lot of other factors that might be at play—these individuals get some kind of salary or bonus increase at work each year, regardless of degree. Another element is that many companies pay for their employees’ EMBAs, so they are likely to continue investing in them once they have already made that initial investment.
An article in Poets and Quants (“Pay Up 16.3% For EMBA Grads”) also looks at the Executive MBA Council’s statistics and agrees that the 16.3% increase in salaries is “hardly a no-brainer endorsement of the degree’s return-on-investment.” However, P&Q still acknowledges that salaries are rising for EMBA graduates, which can’t be a bad thing. More importantly, the article also notes that EMBA graduates have “high levels of satisfaction” with their degree experience—a piece of information that may be more valuable to future applicants than raw salary statistics.