5 Most Common Outcomes For Graduate Business School Alumni

5 Most Common Outcomes For Graduate Business School Alumni

Prospective students interested in graduate management education are usually seeking one of three career outcomes – a change in career, progression in their current career path or to launch/grow their own business. The Graduate Management Admission Council has recently released the 2016 Alumni Perspectives Survey report, detailing the outcomes of more 14,000 business school alumni around the world. The report detailed some interesting results, representing more than 275 programmes, 70 business schools and 20 locations worldwide. If you’re interested in the common outcomes for graduate business school alumni highlighted, see below.

1. Alumni value their graduate management education highly

The survey showed that 93% of alumni say that their graduate management education was personally rewarding, 89% say it was professionally rewarding, and 75% say it was financially rewarding. If given the choice, nine in ten alumni would undertake their degree again, “considering their motivations for pursuing their degree and the outcomes they achieved”. This is a very promising statistic for those considering programmes such as the MBA, as the decision has clearly impacted the lives and careers of current respondents in a very positive way.

2. The ROI of a graduate business degree is strong

One of the most sought after common outcomes for graduate business school alumni is a significant return on investment. Undertaking the degree is a substantial commitment, so students want to know that they will see a return for their efforts. According to GMAC, alumni recoup their business school investment less than four years after graduation on average. In addition, business school alumni earn a median of USD $2.5 million in cumulative base salary over 20 years after graduation. GMAC says, “This is $1 million more than if they did not go to business school and consistently earned three percent annual salary increases over 20 years”.

3. Women, in particular, enjoy benefits from graduate business programmes

As time goes on, we’re seeing more and more women in executive business roles. GMAC indicates that women, in particular, value their business education, with 96% of respondents rating their degree as “good to outstanding value” and saying, “the degree was personally and professionally rewarding”. GMAC says, “Women tend to receive an initial boost between pre-degree and post-degree salary that is similar to men” but “the gender pay gap persists among business school alumnae”. They put this down to a continuation from the lower salaries women earned, prior to entering business school.

4. The degree unlocks employment across a range of industries 

While products and services (19%), finance and accounting (19%) and technology (17%) are the most common job functions post-MBA, the results showed that business school alumni work across all industries. Three in four say that their “degree provided them with faster career advancement”, with 81% stating that their degree has increased their earnings power. This is another positive result for recent alumni and current or prospective students, as the degree provides a means of changing industry, as well as entering new job functions or levels. 

5. Business schools enable students to develop skills required for success

Many skills that are considered essential across all jobs are fine-tuned throughout programmes such as the MBA. One of the key outcomes highlighted by GMAC was business school alumni’s ability to develop the knowledge, abilities and skills required for career success. The majority (80% of respondents) say their business school degree developed their leadership potential, their qualitative analysis skills (88%) and grew their professional networks (70%). This highlights the benefits of such a holistic degree, and demonstrates the range of benefits enjoyed by graduates.

What do you think?

This GMAC report is a great tool to learn more about the common outcomes for graduate business school alumni. It has demonstrated that the key motivations of MBA students, including career progression and a change in career, are almost always fulfilled post-graduation. I am interested to hear what our readers think though – what do you find most interesting about these results? Please comment your thoughts below and join the conversation.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.  


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