Country of work is as important as school

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Analysis of this year’s MBA rankings relating to alumni migration suggest the country of work could be almost as significant as the school attended in obtaining a decent salary.

For example, alumni who worked in Canada before and straight after their MBAs saw an average 43 per cent increase in salaries. However, those who worked in Canada before their MBAs and then went on to work in the US on graduation saw a much higher – 63 per cent – increase in purchasing power.

Conversely, those who worked in Canada before the MBA and then went immediately to work in the UK, saw a slight decrease in the purchasing power of their salaries (minus 8 per cent). However, this same group has seen a 140 per cent increase in their salary values since they graduated, though most have moved on to another country

Overall, those who worked in Canada before and after their MBA have not been so lucky. This group has seen an 86 per cent increase in their salaries over a five-year period (from before the MBA until today). This is a significant contrast to the alumni who worked in Canada before their MBA and went on to work in a different country after their studies. They have enjoyed a salary increase of 186 per cent over five years.

Alumni who worked in France before their MBAs and then went back to work in France straight after they graduated (and have remained in France), have seen an average rise of 75 per cent in their salary levels over the five-year period. Fellow associates who went to work outside France straight after they graduated saw a salary increase of 124 per cent over the same period and only 12 per cent of this group of alumni are working in France today.

Emerging markets tell a different story, particularly China. Alumni who worked in China before the MBA and then went to work in the US, have seen only an 86 per cent increase in the purchasing power of their salaries from before the MBA to the present time – they are earning an average of $98,000.

Alumni who worked in China before, straight after their MBA and are working there at present, on the other hand, have seen a salary increase of 180 per cent, providing an average purchasing power of US$126,000 These findings would suggest the Chinese are keen to return to their country to participate in the booming economy and that the MBA degree is increasingly valued there.

Alumni who worked in India before their MBA seemed to have a relatively high standard of living – one that is not too different from their peers in the US and the UK (pre MBA).

Of all those alumni who were working in India before their MBA and worked outside India straight after the MBA, 73 per cent went to work in the USA.

The most interesting observation amongst those alumni who sought their fortune in the USA is that their purchasing power significantly decreased when they took up their jobs in the US (compared with their standard of living when they were working in India). Alumni who worked in India before their MBAs and then went on to work in the US straight after they graduated, saw a decrease in their purchasing power of 52 per cent (the salary earned straight after graduating, compared to the one they were earning in India).

Indeed, most seem to have been prepared to stay in the US even if they could not get MBA-level jobs. The average salary for these graduates was just $25,000 , though today they command an average salary of US$126,000 (an increase of 141 per cent from before the MBA to present day). Of all the Indian alumni we surveyed who worked in the US on graduation, 94 per cent graduated from US schools.

One of the many positive outcomes of having an MBA is that it is a globally recognised and valued qualification. For most people who want to study an MBA, a salary increase is a driving force in wanting this qualification. This factor is definitely achievable in the long term, but is not determined only by which school you have studied at or which sector you work in, but also to which country you take your newly learned skills.

All salary figures have have had Purchasing Power Parity rates applied to them. By doing this, we are easily able to compare salaries from different countries.

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