Getting Ahead–Are MBA’s Worth It?

As a career coach, I help clients figure out their career vision and dream career(s).   I often wind up reminding them that potential income is only part of that vision, and not the first factor to consider unless you don’t care how you actually will spend thousands of hours of your life.  That’s not to discount the money, if you will, but to make sure you don’t get misled by that factor alone.

But those of you who have a career all set may be considering how to move ahead or simply how to earn more money.  Many in management figure an MBA is the next step.  But is it?  In terms of raw dollars spent in obtaining it vs. dollars earned because of it, will it help or hinder you?  The Wall Street Journal just took a look at this question to see what your ROI (return on investment) would be from ponying up for an MBA at 27 US schools.   

They found out first, that it will cost you anywhere from $40,000 to $136,000 to complete your program.  No small piece of change no matter which school you chose.  The WSJ question is, whether the return after 5 years more than equals the cost.  This is not about quality of the degree, but quantity of the return.

It turns out that the best ROI was at Texas A&M (243%) and the worst at NYU (only 56%).  You can find the complete table here and the article discussing it here.


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