Stanford MBAs Get Attractive Salary
By Yoon Ja-young
It takes huge money to get a master's in business administration (MBA) but does the degree pay off with a big salary later? According to Forbes.com, a Stanford MBA is the best in terms of ``return on investment (ROI).''
The online magazine compared the salaries graduates of business schools were earning five years after graduation with the salaries they got before entering the program. It also considered how much they invested ― the opportunity cost, or tuition plus the forgone salary during the two-year course.
Stanford was the best business school in terms of ROI, it turned out. Its class of 2004, who invested $235,000 during the program, had their median salary jump to $225,000 five years after graduation from the $82,000 they made before entering the program.
Forbes.com introduced Stanford as an incubator of successful entrepreneurs, including the founders of Nike and Sun Microsystems.
``Graduates of our five top-ranked MBA programs typically earn more than $200,000 once they're five years out of school. But rising tuitions and higher pre-MBA salaries mean it's taking longer for them to get a solid payback on their investment in going back to school,'' it said.
``Their payback has been slower, but going to a top business school has continued to be a solid investment. Graduates of our top 75 schools typically earned their before-school investment back within five years,'' it added.
Forbes.com said students can expect even better returns at top non-U.S. business schools. The investment is smaller at many European business schools as they offer one-year courses, but the ROI is handsome, according to the magazine. Among the top non-U.S. one-year business schools, Insead topped the rankings. The class of 2004 at the school in Fountainbleau, France, had median salary of $218,000 in 2008, which compares with the $64,000 pre-MBA salary they made. IMD in Switzerland, IE in Spain, and Cambridge and Oxford in the United Kingdom were also among the best.
Among U.S. schools, Dartmouth ranked second in terms of ROI on MBA, followed by Harvard, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania. Colombia ranked at sixth, Cornell at seventh, and Northwestern followed at eighth. University of Virginia and Yale were also among the top 10 business schools in terms of ROI.