Now salary benchmarking site Emolument.com has put together a list of the business schools with the best-paid graduates - and the UK fares pretty well (which is a relief, considering most grads aren't earning the "graduate premium" they were told about).
At the top of the list is Chicago Booth, whose graduates earn a median of £167,000 in salary and bonuses. And with tuition fees of £51,000, that also gives it the best return on investment of any of the top 25 business schools.
Second in the ranking for return on investment is Warwick Business School. Although its grads earn a low-ish £87,000, its £35,600 fees are also a bargain compared with some of its rivals (the MBA programme at Wharton, for example, costs more than £112,000). That gives it an ROI of 1.4 (NB. Stanford isn't included - but Tyra Banks hasn't started her lectures yet...).
The world's top 25 business schools by ROI
|Business school||Salary*||Bonus*||Total||MBA cost||ROI|
|1||Chicago Booth School of Business||£114,000||£53,000||£167,000||£51,000||2.3|
|2||Warwick Business School||£82,000||£5,000||£87,000||£35,600||1.4|
|6||Cass Business School||£60,000||£10,000||£70,000||£39,500||0.8|
|9||Said Business School||£75,000||£8,000||£83,000||£52,000||0.6|
|11||Columbia Business School||£114,000||£46,000||£160,000||£104,325||0.5|
|12||Judge Business School||£117,000||£39,000||£156,000||£100,910||0.5|
|13||Harvard Business School||£106,000||£36,000||£142,000||£96,565||0.5|
|14||London Business School||£86,000||£17,000||£103,000||£70,800||0.5|
|16||Stern School of Business||£106,000||£27,000||£133,000||£100,982||0.3|
|19||Kellogg School of Management||£106,000||£66,462||£125,000||£100,791||0.2|
|20||Johnson Cornell University||£96,000||£19,000||£115,000||£93,394||0.2|
|23||Ross School of Business||£94,000||£64,500||£104,000||£97,816||0.1|
|24||Manchester Business School||£74,000||£10,000||£84,000||£82,000||0|
|25||Hult International Business School||£49,000||£3,000||£52,000||£53,078||0|
But what if your ambitions are less about salary, and more about career progression?
The analysis suggested those with ambitions in the finance sector should look no further than Oxford's Said Business School, where 65 per cent of graduates end up in the finance sector.
That's followed by New York City's Columbia, with 57 per cent (although with total compensation of £160,000, Columbia grads earn almost twice what former Said students can expect).
Business school with the most grads in finance
|Business school||Total Compensation||% working in finance|
|1||Said Business School||£83,000||65%|
|6||Judge Business School||£156,000||47%|
|7||Cass Business school||£70,000||43%|
|10||Johnson Cornell University||£115,000||37%|
|13||Ross School of Business||£104,000||36%|
|16||Kellogg School of Management||£125,000||29%|
|18||Zicklin School of Business||£68,000||29%|
|25||University of Wales||£40,000||21%|
|31||Warwick Business School||£87,000||16%|
|33||Manchester Business School||£84,000||13%|
However, Alice Leguay, Emolument's co-founder, pointed out many MBA students don't place as much importance on salary as you'd think.
"MBAs provide a strong financial boost, but most alumni are more likely to emphasise the friendships and opportunities as the ultimate return on their investment," she said. Ahhh.
Looking to do a degree first? These 30 European universities have the highest-paid graduates.