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by Evette Brown

Most people realize the profitability of attaining a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from one of the top-ranked business schools in the country.  MBA graduates from Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, and other top schools should expect to generate seven-figure salaries at some point in their career.  Recent research commissioned by Bloomberg Businessweek has officially confirmed that a MBA from an ivy-league business school is lucrative with an average base salary after two years of $126,000.

Here comes the surprise.  In a 20-year career, graduates of ivy-league MBA programs are almost guaranteed to net $1 million more than their peers from lower-ranked B-schools.  According to PayScale, the company that Bloomberg Businessweek utilized to compare salaries, graduates from the top 57 MBA programs earned an average of $2.4 million in the course of their 20-year career.  On the higher end, Harvard Business School graduates tended to earn the most with $3.3 million while graduates from Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business had the least salary growth with an average pay of $172,000.

The margin is much more extreme than some experts projected, but Ken Hugessen, an executive compensation expert isn’t surprised by the extreme range.  “If you’re at a top school, you must be pretty smart to get in, he told Bloomberg Businessweek. “You’re a stronger breed of cat from day one. That will follow you throughout your career.”  Overall, MBAs are still profitable, but the choice of business school is as crucial to success after the program.

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