Is the value of the MBA worth the cost?

When asked to consider the reasons they earned their MBA and their initial goals, 93% of MBA alumni would pursue their MBA again. MBA value and worth can mean different things to different people, but people who earn the degree are very rarely disappointed.


The most obvious and immediate return on your business degree is starting your career with an MBA salary. In a recent survey, MBA alumni, on average, recoup their academic within 4 years, and 3 in 4 say their MBA provided them with faster career advancement.

According to the same GMAC data, MBA alumni report a median cumulative base salary of $2.5 million two decades after graduation.


From the GMAC report, “A majority (59%) of alumni were motivated to pursue the degree to increase their salary and 4 in 5 (81%) say their degree has increased their earnings power.”

The MBA is also unparalleled when it comes to preparing you for professional life with transferable skills that benefit alumni throughout their career. MBA alumni report increased skill levels in a number of core areas:

  • qualitative analysis skills (88% of GMAC respondents),
  • quantitative analysis skills (84%),
  • soft skills (76%)
  • helped them to develop their leadership potential (80%), and,
  • grow their professional networks (70%).

And those MBA alumni that graduated from full-time two-year programs, like our Early Career and Career Change MBA at Willamette, were most likely to “indicate that their degree increased their earnings power, provided opportunities for quicker career advancement, and improved their job satisfaction compared with alumni of other graduate business programs.”