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MBA Paths and Their Payoff
[infographic]

Many MBA students choose an area of concentration for their degree. With options like finance, business management, marketing and more, how do these outcome-oriented future tycoons decide which route to take? PayScale researched four common MBA majors and compared them by degree holders' pay, stress levels, job satisfaction and more.

See the methodology for the infographic below.

MBA Paths and Their Payoff

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Methodology

MBA Path: A degree concentration for an MBA student. It is often referred to as an "area of concentration" or a "major."

Popularity: A measure of the relative commonness of holding an MBA with a given major. To reach this figure, we divide the ratio of people who hold an MBA with each major by the overall ratio of people who hold an MBA in any major.

Satisfaction: Percentage of MBA degree holders with a given major who report being "extremely or highly satisfied" with their work.

Stress: Percentage of MBA degree holders with a given major who report little to no stress on the job.

Starting Median Pay: Total cash compensation (salary, commission, bonuses and profit-sharing) earned by workers with an MBA with a given major with 0-5 years of experience. Half of the people reporting this data are paid more than the median figure and half are paid less. 

Mid-Career Median Pay: Total cash compensation (salary, commission, bonuses and profit-sharing) earned by workers with an MBA with a given major with 10+ years of experience. Half of the people reporting this data are paid more than the median figure and half are paid less. 

Wage Growth: Percent difference between starting and mid-career median pay.

Lifetime Earnings: The median of total cash compensation for graduates with a given MBA major, by years of experience ranges, summed together to find the median pay over the course of the past 30 years.