Pay Up 16.3% For EMBA Grads

The salary and bonus packages of recent Executive MBA (EMBA) program graduates who participated in the Executive MBA Council 2011 Student Exit Benchmarking Survey increased by 16.3% from program start to program end.

The average salary and bonus package at program start for students in 2011 survey was $135,323. By the end of the program, the average salary and bonus package rose to $157,423. Both average starting and ending salaries increased from those reported in the 2010 survey – $127,955 in average starting salary and bonuses and $142,534 in average ending salary and bonuses, an 11.4% increase.

The increase in salary and bonus was 9.4% in 2009. These numbers are hardly a no-brainer endorsement of the degree’s return-on-investment because an 8.15 percent annual increase–bumped up to double that over two years–isn’t all that much to write home about. Nonetheless, the numbers are all going in the right direction: up, from 9.4% in 2009, to 11.4% in 2010, to 16.3% last year.

The Executive MBA Council, a trade group supported by schools with EMBA programs, conducts the exit survey to track the perceptions and opinions of EMBA program graduates and to help measure the return on investment of the degree. The 2011 survey included responses from 3,212 students from 102 programs.

In addition, 37 percent of students in the survey reported receiving promotions during their time in the program–also the same percentage as the previous year.

“Return on investment of the EMBA experience can be viewed in many ways, but survey data regarding salaries continues to show that the marketplace clearly values the contributions of EMBA graduates,” said Michael Desiderio, executive director of the Executive MBA Council, in a statement.

EMBA graduates also report high levels of satisfaction with their EMBA experience, according to the survey’s loyalty index, a combination of students’ rankings of program quality (8.4 on a 10-point scale), students’ willingness to recommend their program to a colleague or friend (8.7); and the likelihood of supporting the program as alumni (8.2). Graduates in the survey rated the overall value of the program highly (8.0) as well.

“These statistics reinforce what we often hear from EMBA students and graduates – that they value their experience and they are interested in staying involved with EMBA programs as alumni,” added Desiderio.

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