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August 2012

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Additional Resources

More resources, including graphics, on the Value of the MBA, are available in the GMAC News Center

GMAC is offering a free webinar that highlight recent trends among part-time MBA programs and prospective student pipeline at 11:30 am Eastern Daylight Time on October 18, 2012. The session is open to professionals at schools that use the GMAT® exam and requires a login. To learn more and register for the session visit

The Value of the MBA - in 3D

Perhaps no other graduate is better trained to calculate return on investment than an MBA. But MBAs themselves may be the first to acknowledge the value of the degree goes beyond the financial: More than nine in 10 full-time MBA alumni in GMAC’s Alumni Perspectives Survey agreed that the degree was personally and professionally rewarding, as well.

GMAC’s suite of annual surveys, in particular the alumni survey of graduates from the classes of 2000-2011, finds that across three different dimensions — personal, professional, and financial — the value of the MBA* holds up.

The Value of the MBA- In 3d

Three Dimensions of MBA Worth


  • Respondents to the Prospective Students Survey have consistently cited personal satisfaction and achievement, as well as developing confidence, as reasons why they want to pursue a graduate business degree.
  • Overall, 93 percent of 2000-2011 alumni say their MBA was personally rewarding, a proportion that doesn’t vary more than a percentage point or two by graduation year.
  • Strong majorities of MBA alumni also report that their degree prepared them for leadership positions (92 percent) and work/life balance (79 percent).


  • Some 77 percent of the class of 2011 MBA alumni surveyed in the Alumni Perspectives Survey viewed their degree as essential for obtaining their first job after graduation, and 81 percent of them are satisfied or very satisfied with their current jobs.
  • 82 percent of all MBA alumni, including 86 percent of full-time MBAs, say their promotion came faster than or when they expected. And 79 percent report that having a graduate management degree offers greater job stability in a weak economy.
  • An overwhelming majority of MBA alumni from the classes of 2000-2011 report good to outstanding career outcomes from their degree in the areas of qualitative (96 percent) and quantitative (93 percent) skills, preparation for their chosen career (90 percent), opportunities for faster career advancement (88 percent), improved job satisfaction (87 percent), and development of a professional network (86 percent).
  • Finally, 86 percent of the class of 2012 MBAs surveyed in the Global Management Education Graduate Survey said the degree prepared them to meet the challenges of the job market, and 85 percent said the degree provided them with a competitive edge on the job market.


  • Although compensation varies substantially by job position, industry, experience, and geographic region, 2012 MBA graduates (full-time, part-time, and executive MBA) surveyed in the Global Management Education Graduate Survey expected to see an average salary increase of 71 percent over their pre-degree salary. 
  • MBA graduates continue to command higher starting salaries compared with most other master’s graduates in 2012. The salary premium for an MBA over those with a bachelor’s degree in the US is about US$40,000, according to the Corporate Recruiters Survey.
  • The degree’s return on investment is also high. Across all MBA program types, MBA alumni from the class of 2011 recouped, on average, one-third of their financial investment in the first year after graduation.  After approximately four years, alumni typically recouped their full investment.

About the Reports

The 2012 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey includes data from 4,135 alumni from graduate management programs in the classes of 2000-2011, with 3,794 from MBA programs worldwide, including 847 members of the MBA class of 2011.

The 2012 Global Management Education Graduate Survey includes data from 5,366 graduating students including 4,388 members of the MBA class of 2012 worldwide.

The 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey includes data from 1,096 employers and recruiters representing 800 companies in 40 countries worldwide.

*Reference to MBA programs in the data above includes full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs. Data for flexible MBA and online/distance MBA programs are not included in graduating students or alumni data. Employers and Corporate Recruiters are not asked to distinguish recent MBA new hires by program type.

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