A top MBA is a significant investment. The program for Stanford Graduate School of Business costs more than $145,000 in tuition fees. Students tell us that the main reason they study for an MBA qualification is to increase their salary. Personal development, interpersonal skills and ethics matter to them, but students still expect a return on investment.
MBA students had a tougher ride after the financial crisis of 2008. Between 2008 and 2014, the average salary of MBA graduates three years after they left business school increased by just 4 percent to $127,000. At the same time, the average cost of two-year MBAs increased by 44 percent to $104,000.
Salaries have since picked up to reach an average of $142,000 in 2017, up 12 percent on 2014, and early data analysis from the 2018 ranking indicate that salaries are still increasing. Average alumni salaries have increased year on year for about three-quarters of schools.
Average salaries increased by $7,000 in 2017, the largest increase in absolute terms in more than 12 years. All sectors apart from three — education, transport and logistics and law — saw average salaries increase.