The results of the latest study into earning potential of business school graduates come at a time when many are questioning if key players in business education industry are able to deliver true value and if there is any point in doing and trusting rankings. They clearly show that students who leave the highest-ranking institutions are more likely to secure better paid positions and develop financially over time.
The study was conducted for Bloomberg Businessweek by PayScale, a company that probes into salary data. It involved comparing salaries graduates of 45 top business schools in the United States earned at regular time intervals, beginning at graduation and then every five years for a decade. With minor variations and inconsistencies, the correlation between going through executive training at a high-ranking institution and the increasingly higher average income is positive.
Harvard, which habitually tops business education rankings, can boast graduates who, on average, earn $4 million within a decade of their leaving the school. The median value for the entire group of 45 top business schools is about $2.5 million. In the case of institutions which are classified towards the bottom of the international rankings, there can be talk of half that amount.
The study recorded some other interesting trends that have to do with how MBA graduates' salaries change in time, with selected school doing extremely well in this category, others lagging behind, often independently of their position in the rankings. Bloomberg admits its data and its methodology suffer from considerable limitations, like restricted access to older pay reports and constrained knowledge about such instruments as options or stock that companies normally use to remunerate employees who graduated quality executive training programs.