December 6, 2010 12:16 am

Earning potential varies across Europe

The salaries earned by business school alumni vary significantly according to their domicile, an analysis of pay data reveals.

Overall, pay levels and experience are closely related – the highest-paid alumni within the FT sample are those who have completed an executive MBA. On average, they were aged 34 with nine years’ professional experience on starting their programme. This year, the median annual salary of EMBA graduates working in the eurozone three years after graduation is €91,000 ($124,500). This compares with a median of €45,000 for the least experienced – masters in management graduates, who were aged 22 when they started their degree.

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Country-specific data reveal significant differences. The highest-earning masters graduates are those working in Germany, where the median salary is €14,000 higher than in the eurozone as a whole (€59,000). In contrast, masters graduates in Spain, with a median salary of €38,000, are rewarded the least.

Such a disparity is in part explained by differences in the cost of living – World Bank data suggest the purchasing power of €1 in Spain is roughly 11 per cent greater than in Germany.

The difference in earnings between countries also varies according to the programme of study. For example, while the median salary of masters graduates working in the Netherlands is in line with the eurozone as a whole, it is home to the highest-earning EMBA alumni (with a median salary of €120,000).

This suggests the market value of different business degrees, like pay, is not uniform within Europe.

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