Veritas Prep Gets "Inside the Minds of MBA Applicants"

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on September 9, 2010

What do you think the biggest motivator among MBA aspirants is for applying to B-school? If you guessed a salary boost, you’d be wrong. According to a recent survey conducted by Veritas Prep, the two main motivations for pursuing an MBA are “an interest in business and the way it shapes society,” and “the desire to affect positive change in the world.” But that doesn’t mean money isn’t on their minds. More than two-thirds of respondents are looking for a starting salary of at least $100,000 upon graduation, and nearly a quarter of those are looking for at least $145,000.

For the study, entitled “Inside the Minds of MBA Applicants,” Veritas Prep collected responses from 1,721 prospective, current, and recent MBA applicants to “capture the intentions, motivations, and concerns of today’s cohort of business school applicants,” according to a release. Of the surveyed group, 75 percent plan to apply to business school in the future and 21 percent are currently in business school.

Apart from salary numbers, the survey findings are a good indication of the current state of the MBA hiring market and the fears students have about the job search. For instance, of the respondents, 50 percent were worried about finding a job upon graduation. Additionally, 68 percent voiced concern about finding a long-term career path that appeals to them.

Among the surveyed group, 64 percent were interested in making a career switch, while 19 percent said they were looking to advance their career along the same path they are currently on. The most popular career paths among the surveyed group were banking and finance, management, and consulting.

Considering the recent reports that Wall Street firms could be in for massive job cuts in banking and finance in the coming 18 months, the question is, will there actually be jobs for these MBA aspirants come graduation?

Reader Comments


September 9, 2010 1:44 PM

I graduated with an MBA from a good, but small unknown business school in 2009. Over a year later, I am still "waiting tables". We talk about huge starting salaries but fail to note that only a small percentage of graduates get these. The rest of us are stuck in an unexpected limbo--unable to get that dream job at Goldman, and too intimidating to be hired on as an entry-level accountant. So I've taken the MBA off the resume.


September 17, 2010 10:07 AM

I hate to hear this happening, but it seems to be a sign of the times with no end in sight. I too have my MBA, however I have worked in Corporate America since 2005. I have been able to strategically use my MBA in my career for promotions in the past 1.5 years allowing me to increase my salary 30k.
BUT. With that being said, people are very unrealistic if they think they are going to be making over 100k just BECAUSE they have an is not happening. You must have a proven track record of business acumen/history to get to that level. It is an employers market right now, trust me...they are using every excuse in the book right now to make cuts and hold back salaries. Wake up.

Kathi Rabil

September 20, 2010 4:19 PM

Lisa~I'm not an MBA candidate, but the salary expectation didn't seem realistic to me. It also seemed to contradict the two main motivations, ie an interest in business and the way it shapes society and the desire to affect positive change in the world.

Kudos for bringing expectations back to the real world!


September 21, 2010 8:48 AM

If you're expecting to use an MBA as a ticket to walk into a good position at a place like Goldman then the reputation of your school is very important ("Small unknown business school" being the operative words).

Otherwise, its your responsibility to stand out in other ways. I personally know someone who, through networking connections he made while at school, managed to create a co-op position for himself in NYC, ended up meeting several key contacts from Goldman while working in the city, and eventually secured himself a position there (again through networking).

If you want something go get it, because the world doesn't owe you anything. Not even if you have an MBA.


October 6, 2010 3:37 PM

If you graduate from the top US and Int'l full time MBA programs, you will have better chance landing a USD100K job. But if you are in a less known program or part time program, you will have a harder time doing so.

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