Stef Sampa
3 min readJul 21, 2023

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Now there’s a topic that’s been sparking quite a bit of chatter lately — the future value of an MBA. You might be asking yourself, “Will an MBA still be worth it in 2024?” Well, let’s try and break it down together.

Photo by Chris Boland on Unsplash

The hard facts

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been considered the holy grail of business education. Every year, thousands of aspiring executives, entrepreneurs, and change-makers shell out a small fortune and devote two precious years of their lives to this endeavor, but the landscape is changing. So, let’s begin with some hard facts and figures.
According to Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the median starting salary for MBA graduates in the United States was a whopping $115,000 in 2020. But here’s where it gets interesting. According to a 2022 report by Poets & Quants, that median starting salary had risen to $130,000. Not bad, huh? Well, maybe not. When you factor in the increasing costs of tuition (a two-year program can cost anywhere from $60,000 to more than $200,000), the opportunity cost of taking two years out of the workforce, and the fact that the cost of living is skyrocketing, suddenly those numbers might not look as rosy.

Is it all about the money though?

However, here’s where I want to introduce the idea of intangible benefits. I recently read a testimonial from an MBA grad named Laura Smith. Laura, a 2023 graduate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said, “The MBA was more than just a ticket to a higher salary for me. It opened doors to networking opportunities, gave me a broader perspective on business, and equipped me with leadership skills that I couldn’t have gained otherwise.”
To give you a broader perspective, let’s look at some numbers on a global scale. A 2022 report by QS Top MBA revealed that 76% of the alumni they surveyed stated that their MBA program had fulfilled their expectations and was worth the cost. In Europe, MBA graduates saw an average salary increase of 85%, while in North America, the salary increase was an impressive 75%.
Now, while these statistics are certainly enticing, I also believe it’s important to remember that the value of an MBA is highly dependent on personal circumstances and career goals.
I recently read a testimonial from a tech entrepreneur, Ajay Patel, who skipped the MBA route. Ajay said, “The two years I could have spent in a classroom, I invested in starting my own tech company. I learned valuable lessons, made crucial connections, and now I run a successful business. For me, real-world experience was more valuable than any classroom could offer.”

Does it come in my size?

Photo by Adrian Trinkaus on Unsplash

So, will an MBA still be worth it in 2024? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. An MBA can open up new opportunities, enhance your career, and significantly boost your earnings. However, it’s also a significant financial and time commitment.
As we look forward to 2024 and beyond, I see a world of ever-increasing opportunities. The key is to choose the path that aligns best with your career aspirations and personal circumstances.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur or someone who values hands-on experience, perhaps diving straight into the workforce or starting your own venture might be the way to go. However, if you’re someone who is looking to climb the corporate ladder, secure a management position, or switch careers, then an MBA might be just the ticket you need.
Remember, the greatest investment you can make is in yourself. Whether that involves an MBA or another pathway, make sure it’s a journey that empowers you and fuels your passion. In the end, it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey you embark on and the growth you experience along the way. And trust me, whatever path you choose, you’re capable of reaching incredible heights!

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