A career in business can be worthwhile. From lucrative entry-level positions to chief executives, your earning potential can help pay back student debts more quickly, getting you on the road to financial success. A business degree can open the door to several career options, but pursuing a master’s degree can unlock even more opportunities.
With that degree, comes a significant increase in skill set, marketability, and salary potential. In fact, according to Forbes, most MBA graduates could earn 50 percent or more per year than those who only hold a BBA. Furthermore, the longer students wait to attend graduate school, the less likely they are to ever earn an MBA.
Generally, salaries are based on a combination of education, experience, the company and the position. So, what exactly are the potential earnings for business majors? Per data published by PayScale on the average salary in 2017, we examined what affects the average incomes for those who hold a BBA versus an MBA.
Average Salary by Gender
Women with a BBA will bring in $36,320 – $74,653 a year. Meanwhile, their MBA counterparts have the potential of earning $43,991 – $98,835. Similarly, men with a BBA will average in $39,852 – $88,596 versus men with an MBA who will earn $52,195 – $123,825 a year. While the gender pay gaps are (very) slowly shrinking, it is clear that the level of education plays a huge factor in the median salary for business students.
Popular Cities to Work
The Big Apple is the top location for work. For BBA degrees, the average yearly income for a position in New York, NY is $42,180 – $97,092. The next most popular work destinations are Dallas, TX ($42,188 – $92,941), Houston, TX ($41,786 – $87,321), Chicago, IL ($40,896 – $86,868), and Atlanta, GA ($39,333 – $83,182).
Furthermore, if you have an MBA, the median salary in New York, NY is $56,808 – $139,613. Second, is Boston, MA ($59,703 – $133,108), followed by Chicago, IL ($52,468 – $124,106), Houston, TX ($52,114 – $119,548) and Atlanta, GA ($50,247 – $118,709).
Popular Companies and Their Salaries
The top companies for business students include International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., The Boeing Company, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC). What makes these companies attractive are the earning potentials. IBM Corp. tops the list offering a median salary of $68,218 – $142,604 for MBA, and $47,762 – $118,477 for BBA. The Boeing Company provides MBA degrees with $62,732 – $130,624 compared to $51,199 – $94,890 for BBA, and JPMCC $50,747 – $121,536 (MBA) and $45,413 – $93,822 (BBA).
Other attractive companies for BBA degrees is Bank of America Corp. with an average salary of $39,909 – $93,757 and Ernst & Young with a $50,584 – $90,906 yearly income. Meanwhile, MBA degrees are offered lucrative salaries at General Electric and Amazon.com Inc. with median yearly income of $64,596 – $126,777 and $66,181 – $130,302, respectively.
Average Salary by Job
The breakdown of BBA degrees shows that the top spot is a position as a Financial Controller with a yearly income of $80,240. Next, is a Senior Accountant ($63,618), Operations Manager ($63,286), Human Resources (HR) Manager ($62,813), Financial Analyst ($56,283), Accountant ($49,219) and Staff Accountant ($47,129).
In parallel, the top jobs for MBA degrees is a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) ($144,145) followed by a Marketing Director ($112,106). Then come positions as a Senior Financial Analyst, a Marketing Manager, and an Operations Manager with an income of $78,771, $76,525, and $75,089, respectively. Finally, an HR Manager earns $68,115 while a Financial Analyst bring in $61,931.
Another factor that can impact salaries regardless of which degree is earned is the prestige of the school you graduate from. For example, a person that graduates with a bachelor’s degree from MIT will more often than not succeed in the job market over a person with a master’s from a lesser-known school.
However, one huge downside of attending graduate school is the cost. The price tag of a top MBA program is well over $100,000 for two years. Meanwhile, the average cost of an undergraduate is between $20,000 to $30,000 per year. Thankfully, there are many financial aid opportunities that can help cover the bill. Scholarships and grants play a key factor in alleviating the heavy cost of tuition.
A great tool to help save students time and energy are scholarship matching websites. Engines, such as ScholarshipOwl, help find scholarships that match a student’s skills, activities, interests, background, financial situation, and more. ScholarshipOwl finds hundreds of scholarships you qualify for, and makes applying to them easier. Save time, win scholarships. Sign up for a free trial today at www.ScholarshipOwl.com.