MBAs who earned their degrees from top schools like Harvard and Wharton earn more than $1 million than their peers over 20 years, according to a BusinessWeek story . Those earning MBAs from the 57 top programs earned $2.4 million over a 20-year career. Harvard grads topped the ranking with $3.6 million in salary and bonuses, while the University at Buffalo brought its alumni about $1.7 million.
Experts explain the pay gap to things like the fact that grads from top schools tend to go into consulting, which pays more than finance where lower-tier schools students are hired. Also, the fact that top schools are clustered in geographic regions where the cost of living is higher, which is reflected in salaries in those areas.
One compensation expert surmises the pay difference has more to do with the individual, not the school. He says: "The differences in salary at the beginning are hugely predictive of the 20-year accumulation. If you're at a top school, you must be pretty smart to get in. You're a stronger breed of cat from day one. That will follow you throughout your career."
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