MBA Satisfaction Score – High for 2-year and Executive MBA Lowest for Master in Management

If you feel that, it is speculation that 1-year MBA creates more disenchanted Alumni than raving fans; the 2016 Alumni Perspective survey published by GMAC offers a glimpse into the realities of the MBA market. While 51% of Full-time 2-year MBA and 43% 1-year MBA cited Change in Occupation, 46%, and 41% from the respective groups mentioned Switching industries as a goal for pursuing Management Education. The survey response is a reflection of pursuing MBA with unrealistic expectations or overvaluing the potential of a Business School.

As a mean to measure loyalty, Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix introduced Net Promoter® (NPS) score, a scale from 0 to 10 that measures an Alumni’s likelihood of recommending the Management program. A score of 9 to 10 means highly likely, 0 to 6, least likely and 7-8 neutral. A 45+ score mean, the Alumni highly recommend the program.

Among the many Management and Master’s program on offer, Executive MBA, Master of Accounting, Online MBA, and Full-time two –year MBA was above the 45+ score required for raving fans. Our team didn’t expect Online MBA to feature in the top 4 list, but to a large extent, the expectations from each program define the satisfaction.

The professionals who value Online MBA, is not looking for an MBA as an opportunity to switch careers or get maximum value through networking. The idea often is to develop the domain expertise.

While the marketing team at Full-time two-year and one-year MBA program pitch the program as tools for personal development, access to a wide alumni network and a launch pad for new careers, the reality is that one-year MBA programs hardly moves you in that direction.

The expertise that you developed in 3-5 years in your current job function or industry cannot be replicated with a few experiential learning courses spread across a 10-month or 12-month academic calendar. The focus on the new job function has to start from the core courses itself. MBA programs that understood the challenge had introduced flexibility in core allowing you to start working on your new preferred job function or industry from the start itself.

Another reason for the low satisfaction score among Alumni of 1-year Full-time MBA program is due to the demand-supply imbalance in the market. The 2016 survey report of recruiters shows an interesting trend. Recruiters in Europe, where you find the largest number of 1-year full-time MBA programs, prefers Master in Management candidates over full-time MBAs.

MBA vs MIM Preference (Europe)

But the sad part is that Master in Management(MIM) students have the lowest satisfaction rate. You are asking MIM students to do the clerical and research work for the consultants. The MBAs won’t last long in an organization that requires them to do the low-end job. Recruiters have strategically chosen to put interest in MIM students, most of who are on the lower scale in competitiveness when it comes to Employability in a highly competitive Management market.

If you are planning to work in the US, India or China, MBA still holds greater return on your investment that any Master’s program, although not by a big margin in China.

MBA vs MIM (India, US and China)
Another aspect is your position in the Management hierarchy. If you were a career switcher, the positions that you are offered would be entry level. So would be the salary post-MBA. If you have read the Chapter: How to use Net Present Value to calculate MBA Return on Investment, you might have realized that even with the top 5 MBA programs in the world, the expected ROI is only after 3 years.

So believing in a greater ROI before 3-years would be an insult to your intellect. Unless of course, you are self-funded.

With the change in job location and the new peers, the pressure to keep up with the Jones would be higher. So will be your expense. The 3-year ROI is often a culmination of the interest rate and the peer pressure to live the MBA life.

For career switchers, with 5-7 years of experience in a different domain, it is but natural to feel disillusioned to be bossed around by a 25-year-old consultant, when you are a 30-year-old Associate trying hard to break into the new domain. So swallow the ego, and move on, but MBAs seems to have spoken about the disillusionment in the latest survey.

MBA Satisfaction Score by Job Status
As expected, C-Suite had the highest job satisfaction with an MBA, followed by Executive Level MBAs, Senior Level, and Self-Employed MBA professionals. Switching MBA job functions might be a reality for the majority of MBA candidates, but that does not bring satisfaction for the job function. The lion share of the mundane tasks was taken over by Entry Level and Mid-Level management professionals – two categories that attract the most MBA candidates with the least financially satisfying careers (58% and 72% respectively for entry and mid-level respectively)

The value of an MBA is apparent in the long-term due to the ROI and also due to the high expectations that MBA candidates have about short-term career growth. The growth is apparent but not to the level that MBA applicants wish for.

Reference: 2016 Alumni Survey, 2016 Employer Career Report

Download: MBA Research Guide

Job Status (MBA)Good to OutstandingOutstanding PersonallyRewarding ProfessionallyRewarding FinanciallyRewarding NPS
C-suite 99%95%96%88%63
Executive level 98%94%92%82%57
Retired 98%94%89%82%48
Senior level 97%94%92%81%54
Employed by company 96%93%90%76%46
Entry level 92%88%81%58%22
Not employed/not seeking 91%88%83%69%38
Unemployed 82%86%64%42%2
NPS Score
Executive MBA 57
Master of Accounting53
Online MBA 51
Full-time two-year MBA 48
Full-time one-year MBA41
Part-time/flexible MBA41
Master of Finance 31
Master in Management29
PreferenceMaster in Management MBA
United Kingdom34%38%
PreferenceMaster in Management MBA
United States38%52%

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