Executive Education

Beyond Salary: How to Calculate the Total ROI of an Executive MBA

EMBA roi

There is a very strong connection between the quality of your education and the overall potential of your career. Those who have received a higher degree of education simply earn more than those who have stopped in their educational path earlier in their lives.

In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, the annual real median personal income was $35,977 in 2019, but the annual median wage for those with a Master’s degree was $68,000. Professionals with a Master’s degree earned nearly twice as much as people without one, and that’s before you take into account executive-level averages.

While an increase in earnings is perhaps one of the most obvious value points of an EMBA, there are many other factors that contribute to the overall ROI of an EMBA degree. This article will walk through a few of the key reasons you should consider an EMBA as the next step in your career.

Increased Earning Potential

Compared with many other types of Master’s degrees, an EMBA holds a significantly higher earning potential for graduates. According to US News, the overall average base salary and signing bonus was $172,265 for people who had graduated from an EMBA program.

This clearly demonstrates the value proposition of an EMBA degree. Although an EMBA can be an expensive investment, the return on that investment can be quickly realized upon graduation and an accelerated career. For example, the Broad Executive MBA program at Michigan State University boasts an average 55% salary increase post-degree.

Improved Network Connections

The old adage of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is a valid point to consider when weighing the ROI of an EMBA. While this may be slightly less tangible to measure, the value of a strong network and new connections is still tremendous.

The improved network that one receives from an EMBA can provide many opportunities that may have gone unfulfilled and it enables graduates to more quickly and easily pursue employment after graduation. For example, the Essec & Mannheim Executive MBA program enables students to become part of a combined alumni network of over 75,000 people and valuable connections with over 3,500 business partners.

A New-Found Wealth of Knowledge

It’s undeniable that knowledge is incredibly valuable in today’s competitive career landscape. Professionals who know more are able to outshine others in the workplace, which makes them significantly more likely to become candidates for promotions and new leadership opportunities.

EMBA programs provide the opportunity to learn directly from knowledgeable professors, who hold real-world experience and important expertise across a variety of industries and roles. Seizing the opportunity to be in the same room with people who have succeeded before you is a strong way to fast-track your career and avoid potential mistakes along the way.

As an example, the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA programme includes an international faculty with more than 200 members, recognized globally for their academic excellence. Every one of them has something very valuable to share.

How to Calculate the Return On Investment of an EMBA

While there are many points of value to an EMBA, it’s important to consider what it will mean for your own career trajectory and potential as a professional. Every person’s career path is unique, but there are similar milestones and touch-points that have a marked effect on its outcome.

You need to measure all of the tangible and intangible benefits of an EMBA program to fully understand the potential ROI.  It’s not a small investment, neither in money or time, but it has been statistically proven to improve professional advancement and open more career opportunities for graduates, so there is a good chance that it can do that for your career as well.

Before you sign up to an EMBA, it’s important to reflect on how it may be able to influence your career outcomes.

Will an EMBA help me earn more in my field? Can I leverage better connections and a stronger network in my career? Will more expertise and knowledge help me compete in my industry?

Ultimately, the ROI of an EMBA will depend on you and the tenacity in which you pursue the next step in your career. That said, an EMBA has proven to be a valuable step for the vast majority of graduates.


Want to learn more about the best MBA programs? Check out the Ivy Exec’s Executive MBA 2021 Rankings here.


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