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10 highest paying jobs with an MBA degree

Fast-track your career progression with an online MBA and discover the top 10 best paid jobs you could get as an MBA graduate.

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Interested in maximising your earning potential with an MBA? We’re here to help you figure out which well-paid career path is the right choice for you. 

The Association of MBAs states that MBA grads have an earning potential of over £80,000 per year, so things are already sounding positive, but money isn’t everything. It’s important that you end up in a role that you’re passionate about, reflects your skillset, and challenges you to be the best you can be.

So, if you’re ready to invest in your career, keep reading. Explore our top 10 highly paid career paths, the responsibilities they come with, and their average annual salaries.

What is an MBA degree?

Standing for Master of Business Administration, an MBA is an advanced-level degree geared towards business professionals who have dreams of climbing the corporate ladder, securing the most senior positions, and achieving high levels of success.

They are especially focused on teaching students how to effectively manage a business, which includes financial planning, human resource management, business operations, marketing strategy and much more. The ultimate goal is for MBA graduates to become highly confident and successful leaders in their chosen industries, which may include running their own businesses.

It has to be said that MBAs are expensive, costing between £35k and £45k in the UK, but students hope that the high salaries promised upon graduation will pay for the initial investment of the degree itself, and some. 

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Does an MBA increase your salary?

Let’s talk salary increases — one of the main reasons you’re reading this. How much more can you actually expect to earn as an MBA graduate compared to your co-workers without a degree?

A study in the US by TransparentCareer and RelishCareers looked at 11,000 MBA graduates between 2009 and 2018, and found that on average, MBA graduates earned $36,742 more than their co-workers. That’s certainly a notable difference!

You may also be interested in the fact that some of the biggest companies in the world are the largest recruiters of MBA graduates, including McKinsey, Deloitte and Amazon. Salaries of senior professionals at these kinds of big businesses tend to be very generous.

Which MBA specialism has the highest salary?

There are lots of different specialisms to choose from when it comes to MBAs, and your decision depends on the specific position you’re working towards. Some examples of specialisms you could choose include marketing, economics, data analytics and international business.

>> Explore our collection of online international business degrees

But the specialism with the best salary prospects in 2024 is business analytics. The Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that growth of business analytics skills will rise by 10.9% between 2018-2028, compared to the national average of 5.2% growth.

Wondering whether a business analytics MBA is right for you? If you’re very interested in business operations but are especially skilled with data and numbers, this specialism could be well suited to you, and could lead to senior jobs like Chief Technology Officer or Senior Data Analyst.

>> Explore our collection of online economics degrees

10 highest paying jobs with an MBA degree

Now, let’s get into the most important part. Below we’ll list the top 10 highest paid jobs you can get with an MBA, listed in order of highest to lowest salary. But don’t worry, all of the salaries are generous, and you’re likely to earn great bonuses on top of your annual income.

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 

Average salary in the UK: £168,431

Maybe you want to be at the very top of your game, and for good reason. The most highly paid job for MBA graduates is, somewhat unsurprisingly, Chief Executive Officer (CEO). 

In this role, you’re the highest ranking executive in a company, so you’re essentially running the show — overseeing the strategic direction of the company, interacting with senior management and stakeholders, and setting the tone for company culture.

2. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Average salary in the UK: £160,079

Next up, we’ve got another executive level position. However, this time, your main responsibilities are all related to the company’s finances. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is ultimately responsible for ensuring a company makes a profit. 

They track cash flow, ensure financial reports meet standards, manage the finance and accounting departments, and approve company budgets.

>> Explore our collection of online accounting degrees

3. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Average salary in the UK: £138,739

Our final C-Suite job on the list, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is in charge of all things tech at a company. This requires someone who is forward-thinking, technologically skilled and innovative. 

Their responsibilities include overseeing all tech, including hardware and software, leading and managing the tech department, recommending new systems and technologies, and analysing company data.

4. Senior Product Manager

Average salary in the UK: £83,812

Let’s move onto something totally different — if you’re passionate about product development and management, you can earn the big bucks as a Senior Product Manager. 

It’s their job to oversee the creation and lifecycle of a new product, all the way from the concept through to launch and promotion. This role involves a lot of market research, team management, reporting findings and, of course, developing new products.

5. Head of Human Resources

Average salary in the UK: £79,913

Next on the list is Head of Human Resources, a fantastic role to aim for if you’re all about working with people, recruiting new talent, managing employee relations and developing a positive workplace culture. 

You’ll need to be highly organised, a great communicator and familiar with employment law, but this is a varied career where no day is exactly the same.

>> Explore our range of online human resources degrees

6. Senior Project Manager 

Average salary in the UK: £63,345

On your MBA, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to manage projects and develop your project management skills — so this is certainly a career path you’d be suited to. 

Senior Project Managers plan and execute projects from start to finish, ensuring that they stick to budgets, time restraints and scope. So, if you like overseeing  a large team, leading projects and making things happen, this could be a career to aim for.

7. Private Equity Associate

Average salary in the UK: £63,029

Perhaps you already know that you want to work in finance. In that case, you might be interested in becoming a Private Equity Associate, looking for investment opportunities, fundraising for capital, structuring high-stakes deals and selling companies for clients. 

You’ll need to be confident, competitive and ambitious as there’s a lot of responsibility involved, but the bonuses you can make are hard to beat.

8. Risk Manager

Average salary in the UK: £62,539

Good at identifying and managing risk? Risk management could be the route to go down — you’ll work with a business to develop and implement risk management strategies, make sure they stick to regulations, and protect the business in a financial and operational capacity. 

So, if you’re analytical, with excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills, this could be a well-paid option for you.

9. Management Consultant 

Average salary in the UK: £60,118 p/a

If you’d rather not work for just one company, but still want to manage business operations and develop strategy, management consulting could be very fulfilling for you. 

As a Management Consultant, you’ll offer advice to businesses that attempt to solve problems, enhance performance and improve profit. Everything you learn on an MBA will prepare you for navigating business management, helping you to succeed in this career.

10. Investment Banker

Average salary in the UK: £53,873 p/a

Our final career on the list is another finance role, and it’s one that proves popular time and time again with MBA graduates. Investment Bankers help clients to raise capital, navigate mergers and acquisitions, and advise on financial matters, all with the aim of providing the best investment opportunities. 

And if this salary looks lower than you were expecting, that’s because Investment Bankers get great bonuses based on performance.

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Apply for an online MBA today

Tempted to sign up for that MBA yet? At FutureLearn, we’re making it easier than ever to supercharge your career and reach those salaries at the very top — you can take an online MBA with us and study flexibly while you work and hustle.

Take a look at some of our options below, and find an online MBA that ticks all of your boxes.

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