Employment Data Survey

Employment Data

The MBA graduates we researched who have backgrounds of military service are currently earning an average annual compensation package of $117,310, which includes both starting salaries and signing bonuses. Average annual compensation for military MBAs breaks down as follows: $99,888 yearly salary; plus $17,422 in signing bonuses.

Overall, this represents a 7% percent increase since the last time we gathered employment data on military MBAs two years ago. Below is a multiple-year trend in compensation for the military cohort:

Annual Compensation (Starting Salaries & Signing Bonuses)
Year 3 - Annual Compensation $117,310
Year 2 - Annual Compensation $133,443
Year 1 - Annual Compensation $109,720

Compensation peaked in Year 2. Although salaries and bonuses declined from Year 2 to Year 3, total compensation has rebounded 7% from Year 1. These trends are consistent among the entire MBA student population.

To place these employment numbers in another context, we have compared our figures with data released from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)* on traditional MBA graduates. Please consider the following data among peer student populations:

Starting Salaries - Peer Group Comparison
$90,000 traditional MBA graduates
$99,887 military MBA graduates

Starting Salaries - Peer Group Comparison
$15,000 traditional MBA graduates
$17,423 military MBA graduates

Employment surveys conducted with MBA schools throughout the U.S. reveal that officers are one of the most sought after student segments of the MBA graduate pool. In national employment surveys, military personnel with MBAs commanded an average salary and compensation package of $117,310. This compares to data compiled by the Graduate Management Admission Council on traditional MBA graduates, which shows starting salaries and signing bonuses equal to $105,000/year.

Job Placement & Employment Offers
The differences were greater in job placement rates for MBAs. In Year 3, 62% of traditional MBA students were placed in jobs. Meanwhile, military MBAs reported 93.5% rates of employment with an average of 1.67 job offers 3 months after graduation.

For the third time, we have conducted employment data research, MBA graduates with backgrounds in the military have outperformed the entire MBA graduate pool. They continue to be strongest sector as it relates to employment demand defined by total compensation, job placement and employment offers. These findings also validate that students who are former, current or reserve "military" have the most to gain from earning their MBA degrees.

Here are two additional planning resources military students use to make informed decisions on their MBA educations and careers:

Timeline to MBA, a two-year roadmap to an MBA degree.
Funding an MBA Degree, including a detailed financial analysis of tuition, loans and payback periods.

* GMAC - Global Management Education Graduate Survey and the Corporate Recruiters Survey.

Industry surveys were conducted with MBA schools on military graduates throughout the U.S. The overall military student population survey totaled 1,408 graduates. Job placement rates and employment offers were reported by 39% of MBA schools who participated in the study.