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Gender wage gap smaller among MBA graduates, study says

Saturday, March 10, 2012  
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The wage gap between women and men is significantly smaller among alumni from MBA and other graduate management programs than it is among the general U.S. population, according to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Female graduates of full-time MBA programs who responded to the survey received starting salaries equivalent to 85 percent of the earnings their male counterparts drew, on average, according to results of the GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey, which included responses from 4,135 alumni who graduated from 2000 through 2011, including 963 members of the class of 2011.

By contrast, women earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men when the entire U.S. workforce is taken into account, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Alumni from graduate management programs report a stellar return on investment, with graduates recouping one-third of the financial investment in their degree within the first year after graduation, and 100 percent four years out.

"Anyone considering a graduate management degree should do a thorough economic analysis, including an evaluation of the potential return on their investment,” said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council. "These results demonstrate that a graduate management degree is, in fact, a solid investment in your future, both in good and bad economic times.”

Eighty-six percent of the class of 2011 graduates were employed after graduation, which is about the same as the class of 2010 (88 percent). Three out of four alumni of the class of 2011 with jobs report they could not have obtained that job without their graduate management degree.

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