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Annie Hayes

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MBA slams credit crunch gloom

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Latest research suggests the MBA qualification continues to be a safe haven for young professionals with graduates commanding starting salaries of $100,000 in the US and Europe.

QS, publishers of the Global Recruiters’ Top 100 Business Schools, as well as the Times Higher-QS World University Rankings, reveals the average salaries reported by over 350 of the world’s leading business schools for classes which graduated in summer 2007, shows that despite the economic downturn, candidates with MBAs can continue to expect high earnings.

With an average of $109,678, this is the first year on record in which continental European business schools have reported higher average salaries, in dollar terms, than their US or UK counterparts. Employment rates are similar across all these schools with between 90% to 93% of students having accepted employment within three months of graduation; the profile of candidates is also similar, with an average of between five and seven years of work experience.

IMD in Switzerland tops the list with a reported average salary of $129,000, followed by Saïd Business School at Oxford University at $125,440.

Small class sizes, slightly more experienced students and the strong Euro may go some way to explain why European schools are outperforming their international counterparts, but does not tell the full story, say the report authors.

Companies operating on a global level are increasingly turning towards MBAs as well. Lord Michael Hastings, global head of diversity at KPMG International said: “KPMG is constantly working with global clients who are not just saying ‘here is a tax issue we’d like you to advise us with’. They are asking us how they square up in the world where there is conflict and how to function in those areas to best develop their business. The MBA provides a richness of perspective that is not easy to pick up by standard study. There is huge value to MBAs as they have great depth.”

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Annie Hayes

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