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Is an MBA Worth It Australia? Salary Benefits

An MBA is worth it when you’re at a good point in your career to get a salary boost. Choose an in-demand specialisation to maximise the benefits.

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If you're a high performer, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can pay for itself many times over. An MBA degree has the potential to place you on a higher career trajectory, generating tens of thousands of dollars in extra income each year.

With flexible study options available, the cost side can be managed effectively too. For instance, accelerated online courses enable you to earn the degree in just two years without taking time off work. Let's explore the potential return on investment (ROI) from an MBA in Australia.

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Does an MBA Increase Your Salary?

The evidence that an MBA does in fact increase your salary is quite compelling. The salaries of MBA graduates are generally impressive. While it is difficult to scientifically verify the income advantages, here are some statistics that make for interesting reading.

Graduates of postgraduate business schools are well paid

Among recent graduates of postgraduate university courses in Australia, among the highest paid are business school graduates. We discovered this using data from the Graduate Outcomes Survey.

The median salary of male Business and Management graduates was $120,000 in 2022, topping all 21 categories. The group was followed by Health Services ($105,000), Computing and Information Systems ($104,400) and Engineering ($104,400). No figures were available for dentistry due to a small sample size.

For females, Business and Management ($110,000) was only behind Dentistry ($114,000), beating other study fields such as Psychology ($86,700) and Social Work ($81,300).

Top 10 median salaries by postgraduate field

Field of Study Annual Salary (AUD)
Dentistry $123,700
Business and Management (including MBA degrees) $115,000
Computing and Information Systems $100,000
Engineering $100,000
Health Services and Support $93,900
Science and Mathematics $93,700
Nursing $91,300
Teacher Education $89,000
Psychology $88,000
Humanities, Culture and Social Sciences $87,000

Note: These are the top 10 out of 21 categories. Salaries are reported several months after graduating. Source data: GOS.

How Much Does an MBA Earn in Australia?

Based on an average of four income measures, an MBA in Australia is estimated to have a salary of $114,182 per year.

The estimated income for an Australian with an MBA reflects the earnings of (a) recent graduates of postgraduate business and management courses (b) self-reported incomes of people with MBAs, and the typical earnings of professionals working as (c) senior managers and (d) general managers.

Sample Group Data Source Median or Average Salary (AUD)
Graduate business school alumni Graduate Outcomes Survey $115,000
Senior Managers Indeed $112,173
General Managers Indeed $126,553
PayScale users with an MBA PayScale $105,000
Average $114,182

The figures are indicative only. No truly reliable measure of MBA earnings is available for Australia. Each sampling method has its own flaws. Updated: 7 March 2023.

The calculation method assumes the majority of MBA graduates soon find employment in senior management. A common requirement for entry into MBA courses is that applicants have multiple years of professional experience in supervisory or management roles.

Which MBA Field is in Most Demand?

If you want to know which MBA is most in demand in Australia, look no further than what's happening with technology. Business managers and leaders want to stay ahead of the technology curve, especially when managing workplace change.

The top three in-demand fields are business analytics, technology management, and digital marketing. Students learn these technology-focused topics from a manager's perspective. At the same time, program participants study essential topics that are common to all good MBA programs.

At its core, every MBA program will cover management and leadership. These topics should be embedded in every subject. You can also expect to learn some accounting and finance, marketing, and business strategy. However, in terms of specialisation, here are our top three in-demand fields.

To enhance your skills in data-driven decision making, an MBA with a Business Analytics specialisation is a smart choice. Companies rely heavily on data to gain insights into customers and processes.

You'll learn how to analyse and use data to inform strategic decisions. Subjects may include data mining, statistical analysis, data visualisation, and predictive modelling.

Graduates are trained to generate, interpret, and act on business intelligence, making them valuable assets to any organisation. Prior analytics experience is not required... READ MORE

Marketing is essential to any business, and an MBA in Digital Marketing offers a unique edge. With the rise of online technologies, companies are looking for executives with a strong grasp of this field.

Courses are suitable for both experienced marketers and those without a marketing background. You'll learn marketing from a manager's perspective, positioning yourself for diverse executive positions.

Topics you may study include digital consumer behavior, emerging technologies, data-driven marketing, and digital marketing trends... READ MORE

An MBA in Technology Management combines traditional MBA coursework with tech-specific training. Students are prepared for leadership roles in any organisation.

While these programs steer clear of in-depth technical training, you'll still explore technology subjects like cybersecurity management, data analytics management, and design and innovation. A Technology MBA can be completed by individuals with or without a technical background.

With this major, you'll develop skills to lead technology teams, manage tech-intensive projects and create innovative solutions... READ MORE

How Much Does an MBA Cost?