For many current and prospective MBA students, the question of whether an MBA will have a direct impact on future salary and job opportunities is a critical one. It is important for any MBA student or students considering getting an MBA in the future to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the program, and to come to an accurate assessment of the value of their degree. It is also important for such students to understand that the value of an MBA degree and its link to salary is affected by a number of different factors, all of which will affect of an individual’s MBA in different ways.

Increasing Your Salary

Generally, it is reasonable to expect a salary increase of some kind after getting an MBA degree. The percentage increase in base income for students graduating with MBA degrees has been increasing gradually, from 63% in 2010 to 73% in 2011, up to 81% in 2012. However, there are also differences within MBA programs. Full time MBA programs showed the highest increase, and graduates from full-time MBA degrees showed an almost 28% increase over graduates from part-time MBA’s. In addition, other factors were observed to increase base salary for MBA graduates, such as having worked in an internship in the company.  This conclusion is confirmed by other studies as well. A Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey, states that an MBA graduate in 2005 were to receive an estimated average salary of $106,000. This is a significant increase that will only continue to rise as the economy continues on its recovery. It is telling that even in the recession and economic downturn in 2010, MBA graduates still saw a substantially higher starting salary than graduates that did not have MBA degrees.

Other Factors to Consider

However, there are other factors that impact the base salary of an MBA graduate. The prestige of the institution of the MBA graduate has a significant impact on salary, as does the field of the MBA graduate. In addition, there are geographic factors that affect the base salary of the graduate, and somewhat dependent on local industries and the size of the institution that the graduate is working for. In addition, there are different types of MBA’s that allow the student to specialize in different fields and can allow graduates to command a higher salary by specializing in a field that is in high demand. In addition, a graduate’s past experience and ability to network are two determining factors to their success as a business graduate and the salary they can demand.

Prior Experience

Having prior experience in the field can be very important for MBA graduates and their salary, since it means that they can be considered for executive positions that have much higher starting salaries. The ability for the MBA graduate to create a personal network also increases the likelihood of a high starting salary because it opens them to a variety of career opportunities that can give them leverage in negotiating a starting salary. It also increases the demand for that person’s ability and professional skill, since it becomes much more widely known and easier for prospective employers see.  Overall, it is accepted that an MBA will increase a graduate’s salary. However, the extent of that increase and whether the MBA is worthwhile is largely dependent on a large amount of situational factors that is different for each graduate.