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Salary Differences Between a BBA & MBA

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Educators, parents and politicians have long extolled the virtues of a college education. With the exception of a few rags-to-rich cases, individuals with college degrees have always earned more than persons with no college. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree are well-suited for students wishing to pursue a career in accounting, economics, finance, business management, marketing, strategic management, corporate communications, economics, technology or other business fields.

MBA Starting Salary

The Graduate Management Admission Council’s Alumni Perspectives Survey reports salaries for MBA graduates in 2011 are slightly higher than those reported in 2010. Survey findings were based on the responses from 6,877 total respondents, 824 of which graduated in the class of 2010. The median starting salary was $78,820 for 2010 survey respondents and $94,542 for all respondents. Twelve percent of respondents stated their starting salary exceeded their expectations and 58 percent indicated job offers met their salary expectations.

BBA Starting Salary

The average starting salary for people with BBA degrees is $38,949 according to World Education Info. With 20 years of experience, professionals with BBAs earn about $76,218 a year. In three key fields, starting salaries for college graduates with BBA degrees are $42,642 to $26,920 lower than starting salaries reported in the GMAC 2011 Alumni Perspectives Survey. Education Portal lists the median, entry-level salaries for BBA-degreed employees in finance, management information systems, and marketing as $48,500, $51,900 and $41,500 respectively. The BBA degree, mid-career salaries for the same positions are about $8,000 higher than the starting salaries of 2010, MBA graduates and about $8,000 lower than the starting salaries of all MBA survey respondents.


GMAC’s 2011 Annual Survey of Employers and Recruiters indicates the highest demand for MBA graduates is in the high technology, consulting, finance/accounting, and healthcare/pharmaceutical industries. The 2011 GMAC survey consists of responses from 1,509 employers representing 901 companies in the United States and 50 companies located in foreign countries.

Other Factors

Generally speaking, those with MBA degrees earn more than those with BBA degrees. Other factors however, may narrow the gap between the two. One factor is level of experience. An executive with a BBA and years of experience may earn more than a person with an MBA and no experience. The prestige of the school is another factor. A person graduating from MIT with a BBA degree may be worth more in the job market than a person with a MBA degree from a school that is not well known. Location and career field are two other factors that impact salaries regardless of which degree is earned.


Donna McFadden has been writing articles for business and consumer audiences for 14 years. Her first book was published in 2003. She currently writes for Demand Studios with expertise in business, crafts, society, and healthy living categories. She holds a Master of Business Degree in Business Administration from Amberton University.