MBA Alumni Insights: Outcomes of an MBA
Very few qualifications are so renowned and respected globally that their abbreviation alone holds instant credibility and recognition for those who have earned them. This is unquestionably the case when it comes to the MBA – Master of Business Administration – due in large part to the career outcomes graduates of MBA programs achieve and the professional impact it has for them.
The recently published MBA Alumni Insights Report is a testament to this and the overall value of the MBA degree. In the survey associated with the report, professionals who graduated from their MBA from 2010-2021 were asked 40 questions about their careers, MBA outcomes and professional experience. A total of 589 complete responses were received – representing 5.31% of the subscribed MBA alumni audience during this time.
The results show that 96% of respondents are satisfied with their decision to complete an MBA, and the same percentage of respondents would also recommend their provider – Australian Institute of Business (AIB) – to others. Importantly, almost 100% of respondents agreed that the MBA curriculum and learning pathways are practical and applicable, which directly led to them achieving their career goals.
To truly understand the value of an MBA and why it’s so strongly linked to achieving career growth, it’s beneficial to unpack the features to consider when deciding on a program, and how they are tied to the most common benefits MBA graduates enjoy.
What to look for in an MBA
Choosing to study an MBA online is one of the most affordable ways of obtaining an MBA in Australia. And thanks to its affordability, an online MBA offers a high return on investment.
Showcased in the MBA Alumni Insights Report, not only did 96% of all respondents believe that the MBA was value for money, but student income increased by an average of $14,356 during MBA studies, meaning that respondents benefited from a return on their investment while they were mid-degree. With higher salaries came higher positions, meaning that many had progressed in their career paths, leading to 99% of alumni surveyed reporting achieving their career goals.
Online learning models provide substantially more flexibility in how, where and when students can learn. The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) solely champions online learning course delivery, which has proven to be 91% more flexible (and therefore more accessible) than on-campus learning. The MBA graduates surveyed certainly agree. According to the recent MBA Alumni Insights Survey, 91% of graduates found online study more flexible than the experience of on-campus learning.
So, why is flexibility important? Work plays a big part. 79% of MBA respondents work full-time, 29% are business owners, and 46% are in management roles. With demanding work schedules, professionals need study options that fit into their already busy lives.
Making the decision to undertake an MBA program can be overwhelming for anyone, but especially so for the 52% of graduates surveyed who did not have a prior degree. And with an average age of 44, respondents who did have previous qualifications in most cases hadn’t studied in decades.
However, almost all people surveyed recognised the value an MBA offers. 90% claimed the MBA enhanced their professional value, while 88% have experienced improved business acumen, and a similar number have found it easier to keep pace with the changing business landscape post-MBA.
A key driver behind achieving these outcomes is the practical nature of MBA learning: that is, to what extent the MBA delivers real-world learning experiences that can immediately be applied in a student’s place of work. The AIB MBA models this, evident from the finding that 93% of participating respondents have been able to apply their MBA to their job or business.
Along with a practical learning framework, in order to assist all students, it’s important that MBA providers facilitate appropriate study support offerings. At AIB, for example, a dedicated academic faculty of 183 staff support students in Australia and internationally, ensuring they have all the resources and assistance they may need to achieve academic success.
It increases salaries
Studying for an MBA enhances a range of professional skills – from finance and marketing to entrepreneurship and leadership. But there’s no denying that an increase in salary is a strong motivation to complete an MBA.
The 2021 MBA Alumni Insights Survey discovered that 74% of all MBA respondents had received a pay increase since graduating. On average, this salary increase was $33,712. This has boosted many Australian, Canadian and New Zealand graduate salaries to the $120-$150,000 income range and beyond.
Change industries and roles
An MBA provides exposure and insight into a wide range of business functions that students otherwise may not ever become familiar with. And in addition, throughout their studies, students connect with professionals and leaders in all industries and fields. It’s no surprise that these experiences help open doors to an MBAs next career step.
Highlighted in the MBA report, completing an MBA allowed the respondents to move into more lucrative industries that they may not have considered before. For example, undertaking an MBA provides pathways and opportunities to gain employment in Fortune 500 and ASX 200 companies, such as BOC Ltd Linde Group, Coles Group, Nestle and Aurizon.
Since graduating from the MBA, 70% of respondents have moved into a more senior role in their business of their choice. So not only did they change occupations, but they gained employment in higher positions within their new profession.
The role that self-confidence plays in these career outcomes should not be discounted, as an MBA is a catalyst for confidence growth, and a confident candidate is more likely to go after the job they want. These were certainly the findings in the MBA Alumni Insights Report, with 96% of the professionals surveyed saying that the MBA increased their confidence, and 88% claiming that the MBA improved their business and management acumen.
Grow a business network
Business connections are a truly valuable outcome of completing an MBA, and it often happens organically. Whether through corporate events or in a study group, growing a network of like-minded people is important to propel any career forward with new opportunities and connections. From employment opportunities and partnership leads to mentoring relationships and a professional support network, the connections made while studying the MBA can be highly valuable and lifelong.
It’s clear that studying an MBA provides people with a springboard to achieve their career goals and benefit long-term from the credibility they hold as an MBA graduate. And after compiling the results of the 2021 MBA Alumni Insights Survey, these strong and vast MBA outcomes are evident.
Read the full report to explore more of the MBA outcomes achieved by graduates.