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Lessons for abroad - MBA does not always mean a fat pay check

by Sameeksha Khanna 19. December 2011 21:08

If one read down the lists of business school MBA programmes in america or Eurpoe for that matter under various headings, many institutions are promising salary increases around 100 %. Is it really possible to have such a case?


Reports released from Cambridge University's Judge Business School, outline that the average salary increase recorded by the 105-strong full time MBA course graduate who finished last September was an impressive 66 per cent. However, according to Cathy Butles, MBA careers director at Judge, this masked some real extremes which should be kept in perspective


In her interview with the Independent in February 2011, she explains; "If we look closely at the salary increase split by pre-MBA region, the results from other parts of the world outside the US and Europe feature figures as high as 200 and 300 per cent. However, the averages of those from pre-MBA locations such as UK, Europe and North America, while not hitting former heady percentages, also reach beyond 50 per cent."


Several factors that affect the statistics reported on salary increases are linked to the underlying reasons for embarking on an MBA. These include a desire to change career direction or geographical location, a desire to change industry, or a desire to change job function within a sector. To expect to achieve one or more of these by doing an MBA, and land a vastly increased salary at the same time, in my opinion would be ambitious.


Statistics from Cranfield School of Management show that the most recent group of MBA students, who graduated in September 2010 have seen their basic salaries rise by 33 per cent on average, which might appear modest. However, 82 per cent of the group in question achieved a complete change of career and job function and 64 per cent changed sector altogether. This puts weighting to my point above.


"It's not just the salary component that's important," one of HR specialists in India concludes. "Candidates are equally concerned to look at their career prospects, job content and the relevant sector experience that the opportunity will give them. And recruiters know that these factors play a key role in securing the best candidates.



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