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October 1, 2023

Number of the Day: $5.7 Million

No, that isn’t the latest fine given to a Big 4 firm by the SEC for shitty auditing. That is the median cash compensation—after graduation and working for 35 years—for someone who got an MBA from one of the top 50 business schools in the U.S., according to an analysis for the website Poets&Quants by PayScale, which collects salary data from individuals through online pay comparison tools.

The analysis says that $5.7 million is a premium of $2.3 million over those with just an undergraduate degree.

The 50 MBA schools included in PayScale’s analysis (ranked by estimated lifetime earnings) were:

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford University – Graduate School of Business
  3. University of California-Berkeley – Haas School of Business
  4. Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business
  5. University of Virginia – Darden School of Business
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management
  7. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management
  8. Cornell University – Johnson Graduate School of Management
  9. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School
  10. University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) – Anderson School of Management
  11. Duke University – Fuqua School of Business
  12. University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business
  13. Columbia Business School
  14. Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School
  15. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
  16. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – Kenan-Flagler Business School
  17. Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business
  18. University of Washington – Foster School of Business
  19. University of Texas-Austin – McCombs School of Business
  20. New York University – Leonard N. Stern School of Business
  21. Vanderbilt University – Business School
  22. Santa Clara University – Leavey School of Business
  23. George Washington University – School of Business
  24. University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management
  25. University of California-Irvine – Paul Merage School of Business
  26. Boston University – School of Management
  27. Babson College – F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
  28. Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business
  29. Indiana University – Kelley School of Business
  30. University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Business
  31. University of Utah – David Eccles School of Business
  32. University of Connecticut – School of Business
  33. Washington University – Olin Business School
  34. University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business
  35. Johns Hopkins University – Carey Business School
  36. Arizona State University – W. P. Carey School of Business
  37. University of Iowa – Henry B. Tippie College of Business
  38. Rutgers Business School
  39. Villanova University – Villanova School of Business
  40. Brigham Young University – Marriott School of Business
  41. Case Western Reserve University – Weatherhead School of Management
  42. University of Rochester – Simon School of Business
  43. University of Colorado-Boulder – Leeds School of Business
  44. CUNY Bernard M Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business
  45. Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business
  46. Drexel University – Bennett S. LeBow College of Business
  47. University of Southern California – Marshall School of Business
  48. Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management
  49. Syracuse University – Martin J. Whitman School of Management
  50. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – College of Business

According to the analysis, a person’s estimated median pay would surpass $8 million over a 35-year period if he or she graduated with an MBA from the top five schools on the list above:

  • Harvard: $8.5 million
  • Stanford: $8.33 million
  • California Berkeley: $8.25 million
  • Dartmouth: $8.24 million
  • Virginia: $8.2 million

While at first glance the $5.7 million of median cash compensation earned over 35 years might seem a little lower than you would have thought, but that’s because the analysis doesn’t factor in stock-based compensation, the cash value of retirement benefits, or other non-cash benefits, such as health care.

Here’s a chart Poets&Quants and PayScale provided showing the cash value of an MBA:

You can read the full analysis here.

Related article:

Take It From a Former Public Accountant: Having a CPA/MBA Makes Sense

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

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