EMBA Grads Enjoy 17% Pay Increase

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How is this for a rate of return?

If you started an Executive MBA program in 2012, you were probably making $155,848. Fast forward two years and those earnings have shot up to $181,965 – nearly a 17% increase in two years. At this rate, the Class of 2016 can expect to clear nearly $200,000 by graduation!

That was the big news out of the 2015 Student Exit Benchmarking Survey released today (March 18) by the Executive MBA Association Council (EMBAC). The survey was based on responses from 2,323 students at 79 EMBA programs.

EMBA TAKES PAY TO ANOTHER LEVEL 

This pay increase is the largest yet recorded by the council. The Class of 2011, for example, entered their EMBA program earning $135,323 and graduated with an income, including salary and bonus package, of $157,423 – roughly a 14% increase. Two years later, the Class of 2013 started school at $140,310 and watched their incomes grow to $159,963, nearly a 12.5% increase.

Strikingly, from 2011-2014, starting incomes grew roughly 13% — nearly the same percentage as the salary increase from earning an EMBA degree (13.5%). In other words, the study could reflect wages rising overall, not just due to the addition of a degree on your resume–which proves a point that many managers find after getting an EMBA. Sometimes, you have to change jobs to get employers to recognize your new credential.

Beyond pay, the executive MBA degree also aids graduates professionally. For example, the percentage of respondents who earned a promotion during their program climbed from 38% to 41% from 2013-2014 according to the survey. Similarly, graduates who received new responsibilities rose from 51% to 53% during that same period.

In a statement, Michael Desiderio, EMBAC’s executive director, touted the underlying value behind an Executive MBA degree. “When I talk with EMBA graduates, they share their stories about how their time in the program helped them grow,” he says. “They gain skills and enhance their leadership abilities in ways that help them add value to their organizations. The return on investment statistics in the EMBAC survey also help show the impact of the degree.”

GRADUATES RELATIVELY HAPPY WITH THEIR INVESTMENT

In 2015, EMBAC replaced the 10-point scale with a simpler five-point scale to measure student satisfaction. However, there was little change over the previous year’s results. Respondents gave program quality a 4.1 score (slightly down from 2014’s 8.3 number). A roughly equal number were willing to recommend their executive MBA program to a friend (4.2 vs. 8.4) and likely to support the program as alumni (4.1 vs. 8.2).

When it came to which attributes were most important to them, overall length of the program led the field at 4.4 (against 8.8 in last year’s survey. Respondents also highly valued compatibility of class schedule with work (4.2 vs. 8.5); reputation of business school (4.2 vs. 8.5); class size (4.2 vs. 8.4); quality of other students (4.1 vs. 8.2); and quality of study team and study group (4.1 vs. 8.2).

DON’T MISS: OUR 2014 RANKING OF THE WORLD’S BEST EMBA PROGRAMS or HOW MUCH DOES A TOP EMBA COST

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