What Are the Personal Benefits of Earning an MBA?

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Business now offers a fully online, accelerated Master of Business Administration degree. The online MBA program provides a convenient, flexible and affordable path to achieving your educational and professional goals, and it comes with an array of personal benefits as well as objective professional and financial rewards. Graduates gain skills and knowledge that strengthen their competencies in the essential areas of communication, negotiation, decision-making and finance. 

Earning an accelerated online MBA from SIUE allows students to continue working while they complete their degrees and avoid a common pitfall of campus-based programs: opportunity cost. Also, online learning develops the ability to manage time effectively — yet another important skill on and off the job. 

Motivation Based on Career Advancement and Income Potential 

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducted a 2017 survey of 14,651 graduate-level business school alumni that demonstrated these and other benefits of such an education. Several key findings:

  • Ninety-five percent of respondents rated the value of graduate education as “good” to “outstanding.”
  • While 76 percent of average earnings come from base salary, income from non-salary sources like bonuses and stock options increases steadily as graduates move into higher level positions.
  • Business school graduates make $75,513 (median) in total compensation annually in entry-level positions.
  • Most alumni land at least mid-level positions after graduating, and the majority hold supervisory positions. More than 40 percent are at ownership level.

What About Return on Investment?

The Princeton Review says tuition for a high-value, two-year campus-based MBA program can exceed $130,000. Plus there’s the opportunity cost of lost wages and promotions while in school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers with a bachelor’s degree made $60,996 annually (median) in 2017. Therefore, sacrificing two years of average salary means roughly $122,000 in foregone wages. Factoring in this opportunity cost, obtaining an MBA could cost $250,000 or more, in addition to interest on student loans.

Now consider a business school graduate’s entry-level median earnings of $75,513 (granted, most work in mid-level or higher level positions). That represents almost $15,000 more in annual earnings than professionals with a bachelor’s degree. Thus it could take nearly nine years to see a return on tuition investment from a campus-based MBA, or almost 17 years given lost wages during school. Yet this is often offset by signing bonuses, career advancement and other compensation while ascending through higher level management and ownership roles.

SIUE’s online MBA total tuition is less than $18,000. And students can complete the degree in as few as 12 months. As students can continue working while they finish their degree, they do not have to sacrifice wages and promotions during school. Graduates could see significant return on their investment in SIUE’s MBA in little over a year after graduating, or immediately with a sign-on bonus in a new position.

How About Personal Benefits?

Earning an online MBA from SIUE can greatly improve quality of life and career satisfaction, especially considering the nominal investment. In the GMAC survey, 91 percent of respondents said their master’s degree was professionally rewarding, and 93 percent said it was personally rewarding. Plus, the SIUE online student gains experience and widely applicable skills in communication, leadership, decision-making, financial literacy, interpersonal relations and negotiation, and time management.

Clearly, earning an MBA can be rewarding in many ways. The skills developed through SIUE’s MBA program are essential to success in more aspects of life than simply the workplace. Managing your time to balance both personal and professional life is vital to being well adjusted in the rapidly changing world of global commerce.

Learn more about the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville online MBA program.


GMAC: Alumni Perspectives Survey Report 2017

The Princeton Review: What Is the ROI of an MBA Degree?

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Measuring the Value of Education

Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States

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