Investing in an MBA can be a crucial step toward higher earning potential and improved career prospects - explore the salary expectations and total compensation for MBA graduates in the UK

What is the average salary for MBA graduates in the UK?

Average salaries for MBA graduates vary widely. For example: 

  • Graduates of Cambridge Judge Business School earn on average £73,985
  • London Business School reports an average salary of £99,333 
  • Manchester Alliance Business School graduates earn between £47,204 and £106,112.

However, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, we know that those with an MBA earn double the amount of undergraduate business degree holders and more than double (58%) than those with another postgraduate business qualification.

What are the top MBA salaries in the UK?

Companies such as Amazon, Google, and GSK provide competitive annual salaries for MBA graduates ranging from £50,000 to £120,000, depending on your experience and skills.

According to Glassdoor, MBA holders can expect the following salaries:

  • Amazon - £117,600
  • PIMCO - £73,000 to £87,000
  • Google - £65,000 to £76,000
  • BT Group - £56,000 to £66,000
  • GSK - £47,000 to £56,000.

What factors will influence my salary?

Your salary post-MBA could be impacted by your work experience, the reputation of your business school, and your specialisation. Cities with higher costs of living, such as London, also offer higher salaries.

The reputation of your business school can affect the job offers you receive, the networks you connect with and the salary you earn. According to the Financial Times MBA Rankings 2024 London Business School, ranked first in the UK, boasts a 108% average salary increase for its alumni. Following closely is Oxford Said, second in the UK, where graduates experience a 103% average salary jump. While the University of Edinburgh Business School, which is ranked tenth in the UK, sees a smaller increase at 57%.

What MBA specialisations can I do?

Certain specialisations often command higher salaries than others. There are a range of specialist MBA courses, so if you have a specific career path in mind, aim for the programme that best aligns with your goals.

When it comes to earning potential, some specialisations offer a clear edge:

  • Finance - finance managers typically earn an average salary of £40,286.
  • Consulting - salaries reach up to £170,000 for experienced business partners.
  • Marketing - marketing MBA graduates earn a strong average salary of £50,307.
  • Technology - for MBA graduates, the average salary sits at £43,669.

Is an MBA worth the cost?

When considering your return on investment (ROI) for the MBA you should compare the higher salary potential and improved career prospects with the cost of tuition fees.

For an MBA with a post-graduation salary of £33,000 and fees of £50,000, the ROI is estimated at around 66%, meaning you'd recoup roughly two-thirds of your programme costs annually through your salary increase. It's important to remember that this is a simplified calculation, and your actual ROI could be higher or lower depending on your career trajectory and salary growth.

According to anonymous Glassdoor ratings, 72% of MBA professionals feel satisfied with their salary, but your MBA salary is typically just one part of a total compensation package.

Here are some benefits you might get  alongside your salary:

  • Signing bonus - a one-time cash payment you receive upon accepting a job offer. This can be particularly common in certain industries like consulting and finance and is often between five and 20% of your base salary.
  • Performance bonus - money paid out based on your individual performance or the company's performance. This can range from a few percent to a significant portion of your salary.
  • Stock options - the right to buy a certain number of shares in the company's stock at a predetermined price. This can be a lucrative benefit if the company's stock price increases.
  • Benefits - this can include health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and retirement plan contributions.

Find out more

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