Is an MBA worth it?

It’s easy to find generalized statements about the benefits of a Master of Business Administration program, but what does the data say? Despite determination to advance your career, a glance at tuition prices may have you second-guessing your plans. In this article, we’ll explore the financial return-on-investment as well as the networking and career possibilities of a graduate business program.

The financial ROI of an MBA
The business field is lucrative. According to May 2021 data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual wage for existing positions in business and financial operations was $30,810 greater than that of all occupations. Jobs in these fields are expected to increase by 750,000 between 2020 and 2030, per the DoL.

Earning an MBA can increase your salary even further:

Average salary with an MBA $92,000
Average salary with a Bachelor of Business Administration $70,000

Salary data from Payscale, taken June 2022.

In a 2022 survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 77 percent of business school alumni respondents said a graduate business school increased their earning power, and 72 percent said their salaries paid enough to support their desired lifestyles.

The financial benefits of an MBA extend beyond the first post-graduate career, often continuing:

  • Over the short-term. When analyzing student loan debt and average starting salary data, U.S. News & World Report found that the average salary for an MBA graduate was 167 percent higher than their student debt.
  • Over the long-term. According to higher ed research and consulting company QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the average graduate from a US or international MBA program saw an estimated ROI of $390,751 within a decade of earning their degree.

MBA programs: surefire networking opportunities
Networking brings untold value to a business career, helping professionals find new jobs, clients and suppliers. Per the GMAC alumni survey, 76 percent of respondents affirmed that a graduate business degree expanded their professional networks.

Attending an MBA program may also provide opportunities for cross-industry networking. Many schools offer concentrations so students can specialize in specific areas, and concentrations come with the added benefit of allowing students to network with people who will be employed in other departments or industries. An expanded network can help you change your career, navigate company or industry downturns and even tackle societal issues.

Career opportunities with an MBA
Employers have long valued the expertise that comes with an MBA, but demand has grown particularly high in recent years as international disruptions such as COVID-19 and Brexit led to a scramble for top talent to help businesses maintain and expand their operations. The demand has led major employers such as consulting firms Bain & Co. and McKinsey & Co. to even offer internships to enrolled MBA students who have not yet started their programs. These internships may come with offers of full-time employment upon graduation.

When surveying corporate and agency recruiters, GMAC found that 92 percent of corporate hirers and 95 percent of staffing firms anticipate hiring recent MBA graduates. Furthermore, 87 percent of corporate recruiters are either confident or highly confident that business schools sufficiently prepare these graduates to thrive within their companies.

In addition, approximately two-thirds of the surveyed alumni were able to advance their careers by at least one job level. Those in entry-level or junior positions generally saw greater job growth than those in senior positions.

If you want to expand your management or leadership possibilities, an MBA program teaches a number of useful skills. You can learn:

  • Accounting
  • Business strategy and communications
  • Business ethics and law
  • Data analytics
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Career options for MBA graduates include:

  • Senior executive
  • Director of operations
  • Operations manager
  • Director of marketing
  • Product manager
  • Consultant

The value of specialized curriculum options
A specialized MBA degree or a program with concentration options allows you to develop the exact skills that align with your existing talent or will support you in your dream career or industry. The online MBA program at Lynn University offers 11 specializations specific to a wide array of interests and business needs.

Specialization Summary Average Salary**
Aviation management Begin a career in airport management by learning about the unique operational challenges of airports. The program helps prepare you for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Certified Member examination. $89,000
Entrepreneurial management Create successful business ventures by learning how to spot market opportunities, develop your concept, build a business plan, raise capital, forecast revenue and keep operations sustainable. $104,000
Financial valuation and investment management Prepare to analyze and manage financials for clients and businesses by studying investments, valuation models and the global economy. $102,000 (MBA in Finance), $104,000 (MBA in Investments)
Healthcare management Learn to lead healthcare organizations, prioritizing patients and providers, by studying health regulations and insurance, common industry challenges and the effects of different management styles on health outcomes. $83,000
Hospitality management Prepare for a variety of careers with courses in food service, hotel and resort management and the hospitality industry. $69,000
Human resource management Learn how to shape supportive, productive workplaces and serve as a liaison between employees and management with courses in payroll and compensation management, labor relations, workplace safety regulation and internal communications. $71,000
International business Expand your work beyond borders by studying comparative economics, global marketing and management, and international law, ethics and compliance. $99,000
Leadership and management Prepare for a wide range of high-level positions by developing your personal leadership style while studying organizational culture and behavior. $89,000
Marketing Find your role in a fast-changing, $1.7 trillion industry by learning marketing communication, consumer neuroscience, assessing performance and how to expand into global markets. $96,000
Media management Learn to manage all aspects of corporate media, from technology to marketing, from PR to internal communications, to maintain a consistent corporate image. $130,000
Sports Management*** Lead collegiate or professional sports teams by developing skills in sports administration, sports marketing, health club management and stadium administration. $60,000

**Salary data from Payscale, taken June 2022.
***Specialization not available to students in the 10-Month Professional Online MBA..

About the Lynn University Online MBA

The Lynn University online MBA prepares individuals with the managerial and decision-making skills they need to be successful in today’s business world, with up to 11 specialization offerings available to customize the degree. The program offers two paths for students to earn their degree: our Standard Online MBA and our 10-Month Online MBA. No matter their path, all online MBA students get to know their professors and classmates thanks to small class sizes. Lynn is an Apple® Distinguished School for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. No GMAT or GRE is required for admission.

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