Getting an MBA is a significant investment on several levels. Aside from the obvious cost of MBA tuition, pursuing an advanced degree also requires serious investments of time and personal energy. These investments become even more challenging to make if you plan to continue working full time while you complete your graduate studies.
It makes sense, then, to consider the potential return on your investment in your MBA from multiple angles. A typical MBA ROI should certainly include a financial return, but it will also increase opportunities for personal and professional growth, and the exact kind of returns you receive will vary depending on where you choose to pursue your MBA. Choosing a reputable program is important, especially in a crowded space with many offerings.1
Learn more about everything that goes into your MBA ROI and how to determine where to achieve the right kind of MBA ROI for you.
What Makes Up Your MBA ROI?
Since you are making a significant financial investment in an MBA program, it makes sense that the most immediate return should be to your bank account. The statistics bear this out: MBA graduates can expect a significant starting salary premium over other types of new hires. A Forbes study found that post-MBA starting pay is 50% more, on average, than pre-MBA starting pay.2 This advantageous starting position for MBA graduate salaries is augmented with expected continued salary growth in the medium and long term. Even more impressively, the same study found that five years out, the post-MBA pay rises to 80% more than the pre-MBA pay.2
And if we’re talking about ROI in a purely financial sense, some universities are confirmed to offer more than others. For instance, William & Mary’s Online MBA graduates earn on average $135,686 after graduation, and earn an impressive 18% more than other MBA graduates.3
Greater Career Mobility
The true value of an MBA is greater than just the degree. The knowledge and skills you gain along the way are of equal importance to the professional credential itself, and they can open up important and exciting doors for you as your career evolves.
If you are looking to advance at your current employer, the leadership skills you develop in an MBA program can position you well to move into a management role. William & Mary’s Online MBA alumni corroborate this, with ~80% reporting that they received a promotion either during or upon completion of the program.3
An MBA can also equip you with the broader skills set you need to look outside of your current organization to a wider range of career options. Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2023 summary report of its survey of corporate recruiters stated that MBA graduates were the most in-demand by global employers of all the graduate management education (GME) degree programs. In fact, 37% of U.S. employers believe the demand for hiring business graduates will increase until 2028.4
A Broader Network
MBA programs are not just about what you do in them, they’re about the people you meet along the way as well. One of the most valuable parts of the MBA experience is the professional network you will develop in your courses. Your cohort of classmates will be composed of professionals who are all just as intelligent and driven as you are, and any one of them could form the connection you need to take your career in an exciting new direction. And your faculty will be comprised of seasoned business professionals who would love to assist you either with career advice or by putting you in touch with their own vibrant professional networks.
While it may seem counterintuitive, online MBA programs are often particularly effective at promoting the development of a strong network. Online MBA programs expand the reach of traditional on-ground MBA programs to incorporate professionals from all over the country and even the world. The best online MBA programs feature novel, custom-built digital interfaces designed to enable collaboration and conversation between online students.
Dedicated Career Resources
All business schools understand that the promise they make to their students in terms of a meaningful MBA ROI is one of career advancement. They typically offer an impressive suite of career resources, often provided by both the university and by the business school. When you’re investigating which MBA program you might want to apply to, make sure to research the career resources they provide to get an idea of the level of commitment they are willing to offer toward your success.
Stronger Soft Skills
While hard, quantitative skills are an essential component of any successful business leader’s professional toolkit, the communication and leadership traits commonly referred to as “soft skills” are in increasingly high demand by employers. The ability to lead effectively hinges on your capacity to make well-reasoned decisions, to collaborate with coworkers and to compellingly convey your strategic recommendations to all stakeholders.5
Truly forward-thinking MBA programs may even feature a thematic core that ties together all of the program’s coursework to help you grow into a well-rounded and effective leader. The curriculum of William & Mary’s Online MBA program, for instance, emphasizes curiosity, collaboration and the synthesis of new ideas to grow your leadership potential in unique and powerful ways.
Grow Your Career Potential with William & Mary Online
Gain the skills you need to face today’s business challenges and succeed in your career. This innovative program can be completed in as few as two years. The Online MBA program blends the best of William & Mary—a “Public Ivy” education, world-class faculty, small classes and a close-knit, global community—with the convenience of an online program.
For more information, schedule a call with an admissions outreach advisor today.
- Retrieved on August 3, 2023, from investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/011415/when-mba-worth-it.asp
- Retrieved on August 3, 2023, from forbes.com/sites/ronaldyeaple/2014/03/17/mba-alumni-profile-2/?sh=10b66caa37c1
- Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from alumni of W&M’s Online MBA program from graduating cohorts between 2019 and 2022
- Retrieved on July 26, 2023, from gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/employment-outlook/2023_gmac_corporaterecruiters_report.pdf
- Retrieved on August 3, 2023, from www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/mba-skills