Which MBAs provide the best return on investment?
Given the time and financial investment required for a MBA degree, prospective students should look into return on investment for each of the options being considered.
Emolument.com has analysed 1,020 salary data of MBA holders who graduated in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to calculate the return on investment and highest earnings 3-5 years after graduation.
USA ahead of the game
|Rank||School||Median Salary||Median Bonus||Total Compensation|
|1||Chicago Booth School of Business||£114,000||£53,000||£167,000|
|2||Columbia Business School||£114,000||£46,000||£160,000|
|3||Judge Business School||£117,000||£39,000||£156,000|
|4||Harvard Business School||£106,000||£36,000||£142,000|
|6||Stern School of Business||£106,000||£27,000||£133,000|
|7||Kellogg School of Management||£106,000||£19,000||£125,000|
|8||Johnson Cornell University||£96,000||£19,000||£115,000|
|10||Ross School of Business||£94,000||£10,000||£104,000|
|11||London Business School||£86,000||£17,000||£103,000|
|13||Warwick Business School||£82,000||£5,000||£87,000|
|14||Manchester Business School||£74,000||£10,000||£84,000|
|15||Said Business School||£75,000||£8,000||£83,000|
|19||Cass Business School||£60,000||£10,000||£70,000|
|23||Hult International Business School||£49,000||£3,000||£52,000|
Chicago Booth School of Business holds the first place on the table, thanks to relatively high bonuses. As expected, eight American institutions feature in the top 10, but Cambridge gets a very honourable third place and France still manages to hold ninth place with INSEAD. Oxford is further down the list in 15th place. A larger proportion of Cambridge MBA graduates work abroad - especially in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore - while Oxford MBA graduates are more likely to remain in the UK earning less than their American peers.
|Rank||School||Total Compensation||Cost of the MBA||ROI|
|2||Warwick Business School||£87,000||£35,600||1.4|
|5||Manchester Business School||£84,000||£41,000||1.0|
|8||Cass Business School||£70,000||£39,500||0.8|
|11||Said Business School||£83,000||£52,000||0.6|
|12||Judge Business School||£156,000||£100,910||0.5|
|13||Columbia Business School||£160,000||£104,325||0.5|
|14||Harvard Business School||£142,000||£96,565||0.5|
|15||London Business School||£103,000||£70,800||0.5|
|17||Stern School of Business||£133,000||£100,982||0.3|
|19||Kellogg School of Management||£125,000||£100,791||0.2|
|20||Johnson Cornell University||£115,000||£93,394||0.2|
|24||Ross School of Business||£104,000||£97,816||0.1|
|25||Hult Business School||£52,000||£53,078||0.0|
Chicago Booth School of Business tops the table thanks to relatively low tuition fees. The low fees also push Warwick Business School, NUS and Baruch College up the table. Columbia and Harvard on the other hand are expensive which impacts their performance on our ROI table. NYU, Cornell, Manchester and HEC offer two-year courses, which hurts their ROI considerably.
Is finance and high pay correlated? Not always
|Rank||School||Total Compensation||% Working in finance|
|1||Said Business School||£83,000||65%|
|6||Judge Business school||£156,000||47%|
|7||Cass Business school||£70,000||43%|
|10||Johnson Cornell University||£115,000||37%|
|13||Ross School of Business||£104,000||36%|
|16||Kellogg School of Management||£125,000||29%|
|18||Zicklin School of Business||£68,000||29%|
|25||University of Wales||£40,000||21%|
|31||Warwick Business School||£87,000||16%|
|33||Manchester Business School||£84,000||13%|
A linear regression between the percentage of MBA graduates working in finance and their salaries shows that there is a strong correlation. Yet while a large proportion of Said Business School graduates work in finance, their salaries remain lower than those of Cambridge graduates who are more likely to work in higher paying front office job on the one hand, and in higher paying locations (USA, Hong Kong) on the other.
Expanding your network: the real investment
While choosing to pursue a MBA degree usually carries a desire to either change career path, or turbo-charge an existing job - or in some cases, both - a key attraction to the MBA experience is the prospect of expanding professional and personal networks. MBAs provide a strong financial boost, but most alumni are more likely to emphasise the friendships and opportunities as the ultimate return on their investment.
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