Graduate Management News

February 2015

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

What’s the ROI for B-School Alumni?

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).

Alumni Survey

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. 

Six key findings from the report include the following, with additional details and infographics below. 

Majority of business school alumni say graduate management education boosted earnings and purchasing power. 

  • 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.

Alumni Survey

Business school alumni career trajectories show consistency in reaching higher levels of the organization regardless of graduation year. 

  • 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.
    • Alumni quote: “Believe in ideas and push them. Innovation is what will drive today’s and tomorrow’s business.” – Full-time one-year MBA alumni, class of 2006

Career Acceleration

Alumni career profiles highlight positive outcomes of business school education and high levels of job satisfaction. 

  • 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.

Value of GME

Catalysts of career success include measures of proactiveness, innovativeness, and social risk-taking behavior in the workplace.

  • 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.
    • Alumni quote: “Concentrate on building a better vision; those who see farther can accomplish more. Exercise your risk tolerance—it’s like a muscle that strengthens with use—develop a reflex toward action.” – Part-time MBA alumni, class of 2003    

Graduate management education continues to be highly valued by alumni. 

Business school alumni associations receive positive reviews from members. 

  • 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.
Alumni Survey