Archive for May, 2012

It’s Official – MBA Grads Earn More Money

Image provided courtesy of 401k (Flickr)

There are a variety of reasons why students choose to pursue an MBA.  Some want a career change, others may be hoping to develop their managerial skills, and still others may want to expand their professional network.  But most students would likely agree that they hope their MBA brings them a salary increase.  A recent article on Poets and Quants explored several years worth of salary statistics for a range of MBA students, and it offers some promising insights for current MBAs.

I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety (it’s only about two printed pages long).  There are several informative charts and graphs that go into detail explaining the salary bumps MBAs earned.  These salary increases were affected by the programs the students attended, their job status at graduation, the industries they worked in prior to and following graduation, and numerous demographic factors.  The following are a few highlights from the article I found particularly encouraging for MBA graduates:

  • The salary bump for 2012 MBA graduates is higher than it’s been in past years.  Graduates from full-time two-year programs and part-time programs experienced salary bumps 7-8% higher than graduates from the class of 2011.
  • Students who accepted a job offer through an MBA internship earned average salary increases of 84%, compared to students who continued working for their same employer or who accepted a job offer from a new employer upon graduating.
  • Newer employees earned higher percentage salary gains than senior-level employees or executives.  A big part of this has to do with the newer, less established employees’ lower starting salaries – it’s much easier for a business to offer a 50% pay increase when an employee is making $50,000 versus that same employee earning $200,000.
  • Internships were the most successful tactic used by MBA graduates to find a job, followed by school career services and school job boards (either on-campus or online).

For those of you that have graduated, I hope your MBA paid off (literally) and you earned a nice pay bump like those highlighted in this article.  For those of you graduating in the future, this information hopefully illustrates some of the monetary benefits of earning an MBA.

Here’s a quick article I read from a CSUF professor, John Bradley Jackson, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship:

“Current and Future Startup Trends” – Professor Jackson hosted CSUF’s first business plan competition this past year, and is at the forefront of entrepreneurship efforts throughout Orange County.  This brief article lists some of the major entrepreneurial trends startups can expect to encounter in the future.

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Call It Vacation or Call it Business…Or Simply Call It Study Abroad

Although I’ve been working hard earning my MBA, I enjoy the occasional vacation (when I find time for it).  One element of travel I especially enjoy is experiencing new things, whether that’s eating new foods, meeting new people, or gaining exposure to a different culture.  Exposure to new event, peoples and activities through travel doesn’t need to be limited to vacations.  Even MBA students can use travel, through study abroad experiences, to see the wider world, gain exposure to new cultures, and expand their business knowledge and management skills.

Before I continue, I want to share that I experienced my own study abroad adventure while I earned my undergraduate degree.  I spent five months studying business in Newcastle, Australia, which is approximately a 3 hour train ride north of Sydney.  The opportunity to live and study in another country was one of the greatest events of my life.  Prior to studying abroad, I was extremely nervous, I lived at home throughout my undergraduate experience, and I didn’t like being removed from the comfortable life I’d created for myself.  But I learned a lot about myself when studying abroad, in particular just how far I could push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I had to learn how to fend for myself, I had to meet new people and learn about their ways of life halfway around the world, and I had to adapt to a tremendous amount of change and disruption.  All those event that were important for me are also important for managers working in global business environments, and it helps underscore why it’s important for MBA students to take advantage of their school’s international opportunities.

Lucky for Mihaylo students CSUF offers study abroad opportunities through The Center for International Business (CIB).  Even better, CIB offers study abroad opportunities of varying lengths, which help MBA students coordinate opportunities around their busy work and school schedules.  Opportunities offered by CIB include short-term summer excursions spanning 3 weeks, up to semester and full-year immersion trips.  I want to give a brief taste of the different study abroad opportunities available to CSUF’s students, in an effort to potentially jumpstart further research into these study abroad options.

CSUF’s international travel includes 3 3-week study opportunities in a variety of countries around the world: China, southern Europe, and Heidelberg, Germany.  Two of those options, China and southern Europe, involve travel to a variety of locations: Tianjin, Shanghai, and Beijing in China, and France, Spain, Italy and Monaco in southern Europe.  Long-term study abroad options (either for 1 semester or 1 year) span a greater variety of locations: Finland, France, Germany, Japan, and Mexico.  Some of the options appear open to undergraduates and MBA students, but some information is a lacking on CIB’s website.

Now I’ll admit, I haven’t met anyone in the CSUF MBA program yet who’s participated in any of these study abroad opportunities.  But I can speak from experience when I say studying internationally is something everyone needs to do at least once.  I personally learned so much about myself and was exposed to a brand new culture and way of life.  Those last 2 elements are especially important in our technologically-connected and rapidly globalizing world.  Future business leaders need to develop outstanding cultural awareness and cannot afford to focus their knowledge within the bubble of their own business or home nation.  If for no other reason, it’s important to be aware of potential business competitors halfway around the world, and it helps to understand how they tick and what makes them who they are.  Study abroad programs are a great opportunity to gain exposure to the wider world, and those experiences will help students grow as people and business leaders.

Have you every studied abroad?  Or have you been posted to a foreign county for a job assignment?  Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Here are a couple of articles I found especially interesting this week:

“Hiring Up, Salaries Flat for B-School Grads” – Worried about what the job market will be like once you earn that MBA?  Well there’s good news…and bad news.  The odds are good you’ll find a job and get hired.  But salaries have held steady recently, so you might not get that big signing bonus you were hoping for.

“Sheryl Sandberg’s Inspiring Speech at Harvard Business School” – If you didn’t already know, it’s been a busy week for Facebook.  COO Sheryl Sandberg took time out of her busy week to deliver the commencement address to Harvard’s graduating business class, which you can read for yourself (it almost makes it seem like you were right there with that graduating class).

First Guest Blog Post

It’s official – my first guest post was published today on CSUF’s Mihaylo blog.  The post discusses how I chose CSUF’s MBA program, provides some lessons learned from my first year, and looks ahead to major activities in the fall.  I’m not sure if there will be more guest posts like this in the future, but it’s exciting to see this post on the school’s website!