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Jackie Burrell

New MBAs Singing the Salary Blues

By January 27, 2013

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Apparently law school graduates aren't the only professional school alums with a case of the blues. New MBAs are discovering that their dreams of instant career bliss - or at least paycheck happiness - are not unfolding quite as hoped either.  They took the GMAT, wrote their admissions essays and sweltered through one to two years of graduate level business management classes. But starting salarys for new MBAs have dropped, according to a recent Wall Street Journal story,  the job market isn't great and the huge loans students took out to get that advanced degree - a figure the Journal says averages $81,758 -  still have to be paid.

Paychecks earned by new MBAs stayed pretty much the same between 2008 and 2011, then took a dive, to $53,900/year in 2012. That's a drop of 4.6%, the Journal says. Yes, there are more jobs now than when the economy first imploded, but companies that once hired 100 or more new MBAs a year are hiring less than 10 now. That's beyond depressing.

Of course, if your kid is top of his class at a top-of-the-heap business school, you've got nothing to worry about. The rest of us? It's another reminder that the things we parents took for granted about graduate school a decade ago may no longer be true. If your kid is at a top-level school, that MBA may be well worth the price in terms of connections and prestige. A mid-level school?  What do you think? Worth it or not?

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