Majority of Companies Plan to Increase Starting Salaries for MBAs in 2017

The projected median starting base salary for recent MBA graduates in the United States is up US$5,000 compared with 2016.

Aug 8, 2017

B-School Outcomes

Business school alumnus

Consistently rated among the top motivating factors for business school candidates considering full-time MBA programs is the potential to increase their salary. After investing their time, money, and energy into completing a rigorous MBA program, candidates expect that their enhanced knowledge base and skillset will demand a higher starting salary than they could have responsibly expected prior to completing their program. The findings of the 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey, which collected responses from more than 600 companies worldwide, reveal a positive picture for MBA starting salaries in 2017.

Overall, more than half of companies (52%) plan to increase starting salaries for MBAs in 2017. Specifically, 34 percent of companies plan to increase salaries at the rate of inflation and 18 percent plan to increase salaries above the rate of inflation. Regionally, a greater share of Latin America (74%) and Asia-Pacific (59%) companies plan to increase MBA starting salaries compared with US (49%) and European (43%) companies. 

MBA Pay Raise

More specific salary data is available only from US companies due to limited response rate on salary from companies outside the US.  The projected median starting base salary for recent MBA graduates in the US in 2017 is US$110,000, up from a median of US$105,000 in 2016. This represents an 83 percent premium over recent bachelor’s degree recipients in the US, who can expect to receive a median starting salary in 2017 of US$60,000. Median MBA starting salaries in 2017 vary by industry, with consulting and finance/accounting companies offer the highest salaries (median of US$120,000), followed by technology firms (median of US$112,500), and products and services (median of US$100,000).

MBA Starting Salaries

For more information on MBA compensation and hiring, download the 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report at