Business grads offered more money after graduation

New Mater’s of Business Administration graduates are enjoying big salaries and big bonuses right out of college.

According to an article published in USA Today, corporate recruiters are once again actively hiring MBA graduates.

A survey administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council reported that of about 6,000 2005 MBA graduates, the average starting salary including signing bonuses was $106,000 – a 13.5 percent increase from the previous year.

School of Business and Industry Director of Residencies and Internships Doris Corbett recalled the article and called these graduates “traditional MBAs.”

“The major difference reflected in this survey is MBAs who received a bachelor degree, worked for 3-5 years and then went back to school,” said Corbett, “versus our bachelor and master’s graduates with just internship experience.”

The lack of work experience has done little to hinder Florida A&M University business students.

According to SBI records, the highest starting salary of an MBA grad in 2006 was $86,000 with a $15,000 signing bonus. The highest offer last year was $131,000.

“Our bachelors don’t leave half-stepping either. Internships play a key factor in them becoming successful,” said Corbett.

“The average salary for the average MBA who has not done extensive internships is $70,000 to $80,000,” Corbett said. “Those who do the extended internships get the higher salaries.”

FAMU has two MBA programs: the professional MBA degree program and the two-year MBA program.

The professional MBA program earns a first-time college student a combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The two year MBA program only accepts students with a bachelor’s degree.

Larry Ferguson, 21, a third year business administration student from Charleston, S.C., believes a master’s in business administration is very lucrative.

“It gives me a competitive advantage over students with an undergraduate degree,” Ferguson said. “I can get it quicker in the professional MBA program.”

Although salary offers differ from company to company, SBI students are heavily recruited by large firms in a variety of industries.

The top-pay offers come from pharmaceutical firms such as Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Consumer Health Care, and investment firms like Wachovia and Deloitte.

Proctor & Gamble is a top recruiter along with International Paper Company and a long list of accounting firms for people with both bachelor’s and master’s.

The market has changed in many ways like employment opportunities and so has the FAMU business student.

“One of the changes I’ve seen is that more and more students land full-time placement with firms throughout the country,” said Corbett.

According to David Roberts, principal of Harvest Investment Advisor a local firm, location sometimes play a role in the level of earnings.

“Getting a big salary really depends on where you work,” Roberts said. “People who live in the Northeast tend to earn six-figure salaries compared to those in the Southeast who earn less.”

Nevertheless, location means very little if the student has the credentials to earn the big bucks.

“The business world is very dynamic and certainly employment opportunities are affected by the strength of the economy,” Corbett said. “I find that students who are well prepared still tend to do well in spite of the economic downturn. They have to be more flexible in exploring opportunities out there.”

Contact Christy G. Bennet at