Earlier this year, we discussed the evolving nature of the MBA degree. In addition, we need to know whether the cost of the MBA pays off for us. New analysis shows an MBA is worth the cost.
Wall Street Journal Analysis Shows an MBA Is Worth the Cost
Borrowing money to go back to graduate school can be a surefire way to get mired in student debt. But one master’s degree appears to pay off for many people who finance their education: the MBA.
At about 98% of universities that offer master’s of business administration programs, graduates typically made more money two years out of school than they had borrowed, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal student loan data for nearly 600 programs found.
That stands in contrast to law schools, where roughly 6% of programs had graduates with higher median earnings than debt in the same time frame.
Many people who pursue their MBA. do it for the promise of a bigger payday. Or the ability to pivot to a new industry. Or to launch themselves onto an executive path. The high sticker price for some programs, which can range from $100,000 to $250,000 or more once living expenses are factored in on top of tuition and fees, can turn off prospective students, as can the two-year career break required to go back to campus.
The following chart shows:
median debt for graduates in roughly 2015 and 2016, compared to median income two years later. Data aren’t available for programs with few graduates. Figures are only for graduates who borrowed federal loans. Program names are standardized across schools and may include multiple degrees. Different colleges sometimes report graduates of similar programs across degree levels or program names due to inconsistent coding. (For instance, Harvard Business School’s MBA is listed as a professional degree, not a master’s degree.) Source: Education Department.
To access data on the 600 programs analyzed, click the chart and scroll down.