GMAC Survey Shows Alumni Attain High Compensation and Purchasing Power, Career Acceleration and Satisfaction

Feb. 17, 2015, RESTON, Va. – Business school alumni earn increased compensation, exercise enhanced purchasing power, consistently climb to the executive ranks, and give overall high marks to the value of their education in driving their professional success, according to new research findings from more than 12,000 graduate business school alumni surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The results of the 2015 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report offer a global snapshot of employment and career progression for graduate business school alumni representing the classes of 1959 through 2014. Graduates also gave positive reviews to their business school’s alumni association, with a majority saying their engagement with these associations has contributed to their success.

“Graduate management degree-holders consistently tell GMAC their education is a solid investment and a spur to personal, professional and financial achievement, even in up-and-down economies,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “A graduate management education isn’t just a degree, it’s a career catalyst.”

Conducted in October and November of 2014, the survey represents alumni from more than 230 graduate business programs at 71 universities in 16 locations across the globe. It is the latest in GMAC’s survey report series to provide data showing that an MBA or other graduate management degree, such as a Master in Management, Accounting or Finance, is a strong educational investment available to students in today’s highly competitive career marketplace. In fact, in the survey, 95 percent of alumni rated their graduate management education as a good to outstanding value, and 93 percent would recommend their graduate business program to others.

Additional key findings include:

  • Ninety percent of alumni credit graduate management education with increasing their earning power.
    • In both developed and developing economies, graduate management alumni exercise enhanced purchasing power. For the first time, GMAC offers a comparison of earnings for graduate management alumni relative to others. A global analysis of alumni salaries by work location in relation to GDP and purchasing-power-parity per capita (GDP PPP) uncovers that business school alumni have purchasing power 1.6 to 6.8 times that of the average resident of the country where they work.

  • Business school alumni career trajectories show consistency in reaching higher levels of their organizations regardless of graduation year.
    • The majority of alumni held mid-level positions one year after earning their degree. Five years after graduation, the majority of business school alumni are in senior-level positions or higher, and at 10 years, one in four alumni are in executive-level positions and 5 percent are in the “c-suite” (e.g., CEO, CFO, COO). Graduates who have made it to the c-suite are most likely of all alumni to say they use the knowledge, skills and abilities learned in graduate business school on the job.

  • B-school alumni rise fast in the workplace and have high levels of job satisfaction.
    • The majority of graduate business school alumni, working across all occupational levels from entry-level positions to c-suite, credit their graduate management education for preparing them for leadership positions, as well as for accelerating the pace of their career advancement. In addition, they report high levels of job satisfaction.
    • Four in five alumni, or 84 percent, say their graduate management education offered opportunities for quicker career advancement.
  • For the first-time, this report measured entrepreneurial behavior in the workplace — defined through the traits of innovativeness, proactiveness and social risk taking — factors associated with alumni career success. Analysis shows c-suite and self-employed alumni describe themselves with these attributes to a greater extent than alumni at all other job levels.
  • Fifty-nine percent of alumni belong to their business school’s alumni association and tend to rate their level of career success higher than those who are not members.
    • The additional services alumni seek from their alma mater include courses and seminars, access to career services and more networking events.

To download the report, visit gmac.com/alumniperspectives. Additional graphics and information on the Value of the MBA is located in the GMAC News Center, gmac.com/newscenter.

About GMAC: The Graduate Management Admission Council (gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT exam), used by more than 6,100 graduate business and management programs worldwide — along with other products designed to help students find, connect and apply and gain admittance to business and management programs around the world. GMAC is based in Reston, Va., and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam — the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide — is continuously available at 600 test centers in 113 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is available at mba.com. For more information about GMAC, please visit gmac.com/newscenter.