Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
January 27, 2023

MBA Holders Have Bigger Paychecks, Especially White Dudes

Last October, we published an article written by a former KPMG senior associate, which you guys seemed to like, on why accountants should have both a CPA and an MBA. But what the article really doesn’t talk about is the earning potential of having an MBA. Well, a new study from the Forté Foundation sheds a little light on pay for MBA holders, and if you’re a woman or a minority, you probably know this already: Your paycheck won’t be as big as a white dude’s.

The good news, I guess, for white women and minority guys and gals (defined in the report as black or African-American, Hispanic or Latin American, or Native American) is that all MBA holders, regardless of race or gender, tend to see a 63% or more bump in their salaries after earning their degree.

But according to the study, the current gender pay gap for those with an MBA was 28%, adjusted for years of experience, with men making $58,994 more on average in annual compensation than women ($211,800 vs. $152,806).

On average, women earned 3% less than men pre-MBA ($69,478 for men vs. $67,395 for women), but the pay gap widens to 10% for first job post-MBA ($122,251 for men vs. $109,713 for women), then leaps to 28% for current compensation.

Unlike the gender pay gap, the racial pay gap actually decreases from pre-MBA salaries to current salaries, according to the study. Pre-MBA, non-minorities make 24% more than minorities on average ($71,294 vs. $57,640), but the pay gap drops to 16% for first job post-MBA ($117,834 for non-minorities vs. $101,505 for minorities). In their current position, non-minorities make on average $182,192 while minorities make $163,236, adjusted for years of experience—a pay gap of 12%.

Now, let’s look at a breakdown of MBA holders by non-minority men and women vs. minority men and women:

Pre-MBA

  • Non-minority men: $74,573
  • Minority men: $57,081
  • Non-minority women: $69,491
  • Minority women: $58,054

Post-MBA

  • Non-minority men: $126,515
  • Minority men: $105,256
  • Non-minority women: $113,059
  • Minority women: $98,724

Current job

  • Non-minority men: $224,595
  • Minority men: $183,779
  • Non-minority women: $158,871
  • Minority women: $148,006

So to recap, white guys with an MBA earn more than everyone else, and minority men and women earn less than white men and women at every point from pre-MBA to their current position.

Anyone really surprised by this?

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

a cat studying in a library

The 259th Largest Accounting Firm Is Paying For Unlicensed Staff to Pursue a Master’s at the 87th Best Online Business School

Tiny little Southfield, MI firm Clayton & McKervey won’t be making Vault prestige lists any time soon but it is doing something to support its people through the process of getting the necessary 150 units for licensure: offering scholarships. Ranked #259 on the INSIDE Public Accounting Top 500 with revenue of $16,392,083, Clayton & McKervey […]

Believe It Or Not, KPMG Is Helping to Fix the Accountant Shortage Through Its Terrible Audit Work

A little data point for you to feast on as we go forth into the new year: the PCAOB levied record fines of $11 million in 2022, more than $8 million against KPMG alone. 2022 was also the year the PCAOB handed out the largest civil money penalty against an individual in PCAOB history ($150,000). […]