Monday, August 07, 2006

Getting Into MBA School Is More Difficult, But Pay Is Great!

Getting a MBA degree has been on my mind recently. While I'm a bit scared to go back to school again, especially in an area where I have no prior education in, it can definitely provide more opportunities and career growth. Recently, there was an article describing how MBA programs see an increase in applications. This means it's going to be more difficult to get accepted; probably similar to the med school application process. Interestingly, there seems to be more international students applying to American MBA programs than ever before. No matter what, the admission process is going to be more competitive; which means I'll need a better GMAT score, and have good references and strong application (essays).

Why go to MBA school?
I dont know. I took micro- & macro-economics as an undergrad; but didn't do well. I took a MIS course and did okay; but, never had a sincere interest. After working for few years, I have become interested in how businesses operate. I have discussed my interest with the CFO of my company (very friendly guy who likes to joke around alot). He said having the MBA gives you more responsibility at work, and sometimes very long hours of work. Some of his duties include the quarterly and annual reports, doing taxes, producing several models and projections of the financials, assisting payroll, and signing all checks. Hmmmm. I dont know. I would like the idea of participating in business development and building business relationships. That's fun. But, the real reason: the fatt paycheck each month!

The Salary of MBA's:
MBA's starting salaries impressed me: from surveys by the GMAC, it says graduates who completed a MBA in 2006 and accepted job offers are expected to earn an average $92,300 (up 4.2% from 2005). But, the article also notes: less than 3yrs experience: $68,399 +$10,700 bonus; 3-6years experience earn $81,700 with signing $16,000; 6+ years, earn $100k+ and signing $17,500 (averages). The industry you are in also plays a factor: healthcare/pharmaceuticals $85.4k; Energy/utilities $79.2k; Manufacturing $82k; High tech $87.6k; Finance/accounting $78.3k; Products/services $77.1k; Nonprofit/government $63.2k. Graduates with a BA in business management administration earn on average $41,976 (based on surveys for 2006). Other times, I ask, do I need be an entrepeneur? I hope not, because I dont think I have that ability. I'll have to consider all this. Another report, based on Carnegie Mellon's graduates' survey, says that the average starting salary of MBA is $94,900. The average student loan debt for MBA is $59,340. University of Pittsburgh has preliminary data of graduates starting earning at $71,000 (September they will know what it is.) One article I read said that while 2/3 respondents earn more than $75,000, they work 4 hours more than other individuals in professional field. At UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School, MBA graduates heading into financial services earned on average $92,000 in 2005 (from only $78,600 in 2004). Hearsay told me that a Harvard MBA graduate will earn about $100k, but in debt for a 9-month term of $66,000 (mutliplied by 2.3 since for the full 2-year program.) According to Forbes' M.B.A. reality check, real estate and development MBAs make $112.9k; consultant MBA $108.9k; financial services $94.4k (all with average signing bonus of $10,000.)

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