What’s the ROI of an MBA Degree?

A Master of Business Administration is an investment for individuals passionate about advancing their careers and pursuing leadership opportunities. However, many professionals are unsure if an MBA is worth the investment and if they’ll be able to afford the degree. Before applying to an MBA program, prospective students should consider their career goals to help identify the potential ROI of an MBA degree.

To learn more, check out the infographic below created by Washington State University’s Master of Business Administration program

Measuring the ROI of an MBA Degree

Many employers hire MBA graduates to fill advanced positions such as marketing manager, financial manager, and medical and health services manager.

Who Hires MBA Graduates?

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 77% of U.S. employers plan to hire MBA talent and 62% of startups plan to hire MBA graduates in 2019. More than 90% Fortune 100, Fortune 500, and for-profit, public companies also planned to hire recent grads in 2019. The demand for MBA talent is strongest among companies in the consulting, energy/utilities, healthcare, and technology industries.

5 Lucrative Careers for MBA and Executive MBA Graduates

One of the more lucrative careers that can be pursued is marketing manager. Those in the role collaborate with managers and staff to discuss budgets and contracts, negotiate advertising contracts, and oversee market research studies. The profession’s 2019 median annual salary is $135,900.

Another well-paying career is a medical and health services manager. Those in the role develop departmental goals and objectives, manage facility finances, and maintain and organize records of the facility’s service. The job’s 2019 median annual salary is $100,980.

Financial manager is another lucrative profession that can be pursued. Those in this role prepare financial forecasts and statements, supervise junior finance staff, and advise management in making financial decisions. The 2019 median annual salary for the profession is $129,890.

A fourth profession that pays well is the role of chief executive officer (CEO). The role’s responsibilities include setting and pursuing departmental goals and policies, appointing department heads and managers, and analyzing financial statements and reports. The 2019 median annual salary for the role is $184,460.

Finally, MBA and Executive MBA graduates can become database administrators. Those in the role oversee organizational data security and database efficiency, identify user needs to create and manage databases, and merge old databases into new ones. The 2019 median annual salary for the profession is $93,750.

Benefits of an MBA

An MBA offers students many benefits, such as opportunities to develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Why Pursue an MBA?

One of the big reasons to pursue an MBA is to help individuals prepare for a career change, as it helps people gain the knowledge and skills needed to transition in their careers. An MBA can also help individuals gain the entrepreneurial skills needed to launch an innovative business. A third reason to complete an MBA curriculum is to enable individuals to develop strong leadership skills. Additionally an MBA gives individuals the chance to experience diversity through networking and collaboration. An MBA also can immerse individuals into a challenging learning experience and nurture their love of learning and desire for personal growth. Finally, earning an MBA can give people the chance to enjoy a long-term return on investment.

Leadership and entrepreneurial skills aren’t the only competencies an MBA can help an individual cultivate. MBA programs can allow students to develop advanced interpersonal, communication, and strategic thinking skills.

How to Pay For an MBA

Prospective graduate students have many funding options to consider. For instance, prospective students can apply for merit-based or industry scholarships, or a Fulbright scholarship via a government grant. They may also be able to apply for sponsorships through their employers. Another option may be to apply for a business school fellowship award, or applying to work alongside a school’s faculty or administrative members as part of a graduate assistantship program. Federal or private student loans are another option to consider. Finally, students may be able to tap into a 529 college savings account or withdraw from a retirement account, the latter of which would be exempt from early withdrawal penalties due to the individual’s business school attendance.

A Step in the Right Direction

For professionals interested in pursuing advanced positions, an MBA can open the door to various opportunities. Scholarships, grants, loans, and other resources help students pay for their education and begin a new chapter in their careers.


Graduate Management Admission Council, Business School Hiring Report
The Princeton Review, Why Get an MBA? Practical, Applicable Skills
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Database Administrators
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Financial Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Top Executives
U.S. News and World Report, Is an MBA Worth It? How To Decide
U.S. News and World Report, 10 Ways to Find Money to Pay For an MBA
Washington State University, Online MBA Degree - Benefits and Expectations