What’s an MIT Graduate Degree Worth?

by Nancy DuVergne Smith on April 8, 2013

in Alumni Life

MIT’s Office of the Dean for Graduate Education has surveyed a sample of alumni who earned graduate degrees to gain a snapshot of career trajectories, most useful skills, and more. Part of that survey is about salaries and, yes, the news is good. According to the 2012 survey, the average reported annual salary of graduate alumni is $156,793.

Learn more about the surveyed alumni who graduated between five and 25 years ago:

How much do they earn by degree?

The average annual salary for doctoral alumni is $144,320; $214,488 for MBA alumni; and $142,039 for alumni with another type of master’s degree.

Click for charts in the highlights that elaborate survey data.

Who do they work for?

Alumni were most likely to report working in a private for-profit organization, 54%; in a U.S. four-year college or university, 13%; or to be self-employed, 9%.

Where are their current jobs?

At this point in their careers, 22% of doctoral alumni, 39% of MBA alumni, and 25% of other master’s alumni reported that their current position is outside the U.S.

Have they switched fields?

Over half of doctoral alumni have remained in the same field (e.g., consistently in chemistry) while two‐thirds of MBA alumni and 58% of other master’s alumni have changed fields at least once.

Are they entrepreneurial?

Yes! 21% of doctoral alumni, 40% of MBA alumni, and 29% of other master’s alumni say they have started a company.

Are they innovating?

Yes, again: 41% of doctoral alumni, 12% of MBA alumni, and 27% of other master’s alumni have at least one patent or invention.

What skills do they value most?

For doctoral alumni, the top five skills are communicating effectively one‐on‐one, 95%; critical thinking, 95%; time management, 92%; prioritization 91%; and taking initiative, 90%. See the highlights to find out what MBAs and SMs value most.

Want to know more?

The 2012 Graduate Alumni Survey website offers highlights and detailed results.

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