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UAE MBAs expect a 271% pay hike

Weighted pay of Harvard Business graduates is $187,223

pay hikeA majority of MBA hopefuls and those who study in a business school slog it out in such prestigious institutes with one firm belief – that they’ll land a good pay package once they have their degree in hand and good increments and hefty bonuses as they progress in their careers.

Then came the Great Global Recession of 2008, or whatever you might tag it, and the MBAs seemed the worst hit. Those with a degree in finance and an MBA to boot were held responsible for bringing down the world economy single-handedly. As a result of the economic slowdown, the MBAs saw themselves stuck in a career rut.

But with the word economy back on track, or at least making a concerted effort to get back on track, the lull phase in the life of those who graduated from B-schools seems to be over.

MBAs are back in demand, salaries are going up, campus placements are taking place and, best of all, the confidence level of MBA degree-holders is soaring once again, perhaps just too high.

Great Expectations

According to a new survey of MBA candidates, an organisation that holds admissions fairs for business schools, MBA students are highly optimistic and they believe their hard work at college will earn them a fat salary.

At home, MBAs in the UAE expect a pay hike of 271 per cent, a huge jump from their current salary of $38,000 (Dh140,000) to $102,000 (Dh375,000).

Business school applicants in the US say they expect the MBA degree to lift their current salaries by a whopping 240 per cent, to an average of $140,000 a year from their pre-MBA salaries of $58,000.

We all know the US to be a land of excess but this time around they seem well grounded. Candidates in many other countries have even higher expectations, the survey puts it.

Prospective students in Switzerland anticipate post-MBA salaries of $200,000, which would reflect a 245 per cent increase over pre-MBA pay of $82,000, the highest salaries of any MBA applicant in the world.

MBA applicants from India expect the largest percentage increase. The respondents believe their hard earned degree will shoot their pre-MBA pay by a whopping 469 per cent. This will be up from $24,000 to $112,000 per annum.

The current pay of Indian candidates is considered one of the lowest by those surveyed leaving much room for an above average hike.

In China too students seem a hopeful lot. MBA applicants in the country expect the degree to earn them a 345 per cent increase in salary to $121,000 from the current $35,000 per annum.

Ground Reality

Now, let’s take a look at the reality and what’s happening on ground. According to Financial Times ranking of top B-schools in the world, the weighted salary of graduates of Harvard Business School in the US is $187,223; students of Stanford Graduate School of Business can get a salary of $194,645; students of University of Pennsylvania: Wharton can get $180,772; that of London Business School can expect $160,988 whereas those from Columbia Business School can expect $174,347.

The surveyed MBA are a hopeful lot but this is being more than optimistic as not all students graduate from the Ivy League or similar institutes.

Even though expectations are too optimistic but “the job market for MBAs now shows signs of healthy growth. Yet prospective applicants remain quite risk adverse in the wake of the recession, and if anything have become more so in 2013,” said the report.

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