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Master in Management: How High Are Starting Salaries For Graduates? –
Starting salaries and advancement opportunities with the Master in Management

Is it worth continuing your studies/starting a Master’s course in order to boost your potential salary after university? Or is professional experience more important? How much do graduates actually earn?
Two graduating students talking about the starting business administration salary and career opportunities with a Master's in Management.

How important is the salary after graduating?

Two of the most frequently asked questions about Master’s degrees, are which positions can graduates obtain and what kind of salary they can expect to receive. Salary prospects are a particularly important motivation for many prospective students when considering whether to study for a Master’s degree – and this is true whether they are still studying for their Bachelor or already have professional experience. Accordingly, the average starting salary is also an important factor in the ranking lists of publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist.

How high is the starting salary?

Graduates of a Master in Management program at the top institution in the rankings, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, earn an average of €65,100 in the first year after graduating. 94 percent of WHU’s students get a new position within six months of graduating. 79 percent go straight from university to their new workplace, achieving a seamless switch. The course for success is often set during their studies. The first contacts are established during internships or at one of the regular WHU events. These events are attended by 60 multi-national companies every year, among them renowned consultancy firms and investment banks as well as well-known representatives from the industrial and services sector.

After three years in employment, most Master’s graduates earn an average annual salary of over €100,000. That represents an increase of 50-60 percent on the starting salary. The advancement opportunities for those with a Master’s degree are substantially greater than with just a Bachelor’s degree.

Which jobs can I get with the Master?

A Master's degree in business administration generally qualifies you for management positions with responsibility, and leadership skills are an important component of the Master’s course. After gaining the Master’s degree (Master of Sience or Master of Arts), there are usually clearly defined entry positions and career stages for graduates. As part of this process, you are increasingly entrusted with strategic tasks or are directly appointed as a trainee in top management. A number of companies recruit new staff directly from selected universities such as WHU. Which means easier contact and career opportunities for you. There is a good reason why 85 percent of WHU graduates are in employment within three months.

In which industries do Master in Management graduates work in?

Out of all WHU graduates,

  • 43 percent work in a management consultancy,
  • 21 percent work in the industrial and services sector,
  • 12 percent work in a start-up or the digital sector,
  • 10 percent work in a bank or in finance,
  • 7 percent start postgraduate studies,
  • 7 percent found their own company

Graduates aiming to work in the financial sector or to found their own businesses more often choose the Master in Finance and the Master in Entrepreneurship respectively. That is why they are more likely to choose career paths in these sectors after graduating than Master in Management graduates.

Are starting salaries higher for those who study abroad?

International experience, gained by either completing a semester or an internship abroad, is quite simply a prerequisite for many of the positions that WHU graduates strive for. Studying abroad will therefore have an impact on the positions that will be open to you after you graduate with a master's degree.

Experience abroad will also influence future career opportunities and potential salary increases, as intercultural competence and an understanding of international markets play an important role here. By studying for a Master in Management, you will acquire these skills not only during your mandatory semester abroad at one of our 200 partner universities, but on a daily basis at WHU where you will study exclusively in English and interact with international and culturally diverse students. Living and studying in an international context gives you the best foundation for launching your career and, of course, boosting your starting salary.

What other factors should I consider when choosing a university?

The starting salary and possible salary increases are naturally a very attractive motivation for undertaking a Master in Management course. However, they should not be the only factors you consider. You should also be asking yourself what your expectations are of a course of this kind. Take into consideration thematic focus areas and teaching formats, and think about how you wish to shape your professional future after graduation, for example, the type of job, the working environment, or your medium-term career path. Is there a specific company, an industry, or a particular function that appeals to you? Where would you like to do your internship? Would it make sense to do an additional voluntary internship during your studies or to collaborate with a company when writing your master thesis?

The WHU Career Center is there to answer all of your questions. Our team of profressional career advisors will support you in all aspects of your career planning, offering comprehensive support and a Europe-wide service that is second to none.

Interested? Simply drop us a line or come and meet us at one of the WHU events that take place throughout Germany.