Will Getting My Business Management Degree Increase My Salary Potential?

Having your college degree is a necessity to getting a good job in the business world and maximizing your earning potential. Not only will the degree get you in the door of a company, but will help you increase your earnings throughout your career. However, the question of how much does a Business Management Degree affect overall earning potential is worth addressing.

How much does a degree affect earning potential?

Simply put, having a degree will increase your earning potential by a large amount. Over a lifetime, according to U.S. News, “[t]hose with bachelor’s degrees, no matter the field, earn vastly more than counterparts… with a high school diploma”.

The earning potential increases if the college graduate holds a master’s degree. A master’s degree holder will potentially earn twice as much as someone with just a high school diploma. Furthermore, the lifetime earnings for a graduate with a professional degree is substantial when compared to non-degree holders. In a 2011 report, the U.S. Census bureau states “the brief shows that education pays off in a big way, with estimated work-life earnings ranging from $936,000 for those with less than a high school education to $4.2 million for people with professional degrees.”

Business management vs. other degrees

A business management degree will generally pay better in relation to most other majors. The only other majors that earn more are engineering and computer science. Most business degrees and the specializations (marketing, finance, etc.) will earn much more than a humanities or liberal arts degree. As the level of degree increases (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) so does the potential lifetime earnings. As an example, a business major with a bachelor’s degree can, on average, earn approximately $45,000 to start, but a master’s degree can net over $60,000 to start.

Other factors that can play in to earning potential are as follows:
• The school attended – A school’s reputation can precede the graduate when looking for a position. This might be something to consider when looking for a school to attend. Business majors do not have to attend the most prestigious of schools, but they should make sure the school’s reputation is credible in the business world.
• Geographical location – The location of the company will affect offered salaries. Major business hubs like New York City will pay better than smaller cities or rural areas.
• Experience – From internships to actual jobs held during school, experience will play a large factor in determining your salary. The companies you work for before graduation can be a major factor in future career plans. A lot of graduates go on to working for their internship companies.
• Membership in professional associations or certifications – Depending on your business major, there are going to be professional associations you can join that might provide a boost on your resume. At the least, these groups can provide a great networking opportunity.

The one common factor in all salary and earning discussions is that more education, especially in the business field, will net you more money. One of the side effects of the economic downturn was that undergrads were staying in school and going on to earn their graduate degrees. This means that the competition for positions is heating up as the economy improves. So having any advantage, in this case the highest level degree you can achieve, over the competition will serve the graduate well.