Does MBA = The Big Buck$ ?

January 22, 2012
Lucas Weingarten

GMAT BlogI don’t read Forbes magazine with any regularity.  If there is a copy in the dentist’s office, then I might pick it up and look at the cover, but will rarely be enticed to actually open it and read an article.  However, as is becoming ever more apparent, the age of print media is ceding tremendous ground to its virtual counterparts.  As proof, I come across an interesting Forbes article online with some notable frequency.  Here’s the latest eye catcher:

The MBA Megabucks CEOs” has a title I just couldn’t pass up.  Maybe it was the timing—GMACs’ 2012 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report was recently released and in it we learned a couple things about remuneration trends with MBA degree holders.  Anyway, it reads almost like an article out of People; full of straw-man evidence and blanket statements that get folks comparing themselves to others in useless ways.  Still, that kind of thing is entertaining, no?

As it turns out, forty out of the 100 best paid CEOs in America during 2011 hold an MBA degree.  The article also gets into some patterns among the world’s ultra-rich and, interestingly, that list contains a bunch of people that dropped out of school.

So to answer the question in the article’s title: Sure, it could.  But we knew that already.  While the promise (or better-than-average chance) of seeing a return on our investment in graduate education is an important factor in our decision to go, I hope it is not the only factor you are considering.  Don’t get an MBA just to get a bigger paycheck.  Have more purpose than that.  As sentimental as it may sound, I hope you pursue an advanced degree mainly out of a desire to become a better person.  That way, if you do end up with the Big Stack, you’ll do some good with it.

Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten teaches students how to beat the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for Kaplan Test Prep and is proud to have earned “elite instructor” status. Lucas writes extensively for Kaplan’s GMAT blog, and in addition to the GMAT and business school as primary subject matter, he regularly explores topics within higher education, economic systems, sustainability, and current events. Lucas spent his formative years in North Carolina and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, though he has not yet found the part of the world wherein to bury his roots. He has an MBA with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and finance from DePaul University in Chicago and is fortunate to have secured an adjunct teaching position there out of the department of management. Family, friends, and a seemingly endless stream of new hobbies keep Lucas busy and happy outside of the classroom. You can reach out any time by email ( or through the comments thread after his blog posts.

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