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The ROI of an MBA Is Excellent in Good Times and Bad

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

There are some businesses that enjoy the label of "recession-proof." Accounting, movie theaters and the alcoholic beverage industry all fare well even when the rest of the economy is in the tank.

A 2014 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey of Master of Business Administration program alumni who had graduated during recessionary periods found that they value their degrees as much — if not more — than students who graduated during better economic times.

The survey looked at the question from the perspective of three "values" — financial, personal, and professional — and recessionary alumni rated the financial ROI of an MBA even more highly than those who graduated during better days: 79 versus 75 percent rated their degrees financially rewarding.

Earning Power and Student Loans

It is common to question the value of any graduate degree in hard economic times, especially today when student loan burdens are so often in the news. However, the high ROI of an MBA can negate these concerns. According to GMAC data, about a third of all MBA graduates earn back their investment in their first year, and all graduates recoup their investments within four years.

Further, many students in online MBA programs continue working either full time or part time while they pursue their degrees, which helps ease debt burdens. Looking further out, the GMAC data also revealed that MBA degree holders find that within 10 years of graduation, their higher salaries enable them to earn back double their original investment. An earlier GMAC survey (2013) of MBA alumni found that their median salary was $100,000.

In general, the degree also gives professionals more flexibility in their careers, so they can choose the paths that pay the best and present the particular challenges they find most engaging.

ROI Extends Beyond Money

The ROI of an MBA extends beyond money as well. For example, in the 2014 GMAC survey, about 95 percent of all MBA alumni valued their degrees for being personally rewarding and increasing their knowledge. In fact, knowing what they now know, fully 96 percent of all MBA program graduates would do it all over again.

So in good times and in bad, for financial or personal reasons, an online MBA program is a sound investment.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online MBA program.


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